Friday, 27 February 2009

It's Not Real! It's Television.

When The Real World was first broadcast on MTV in 1992 little did the networks realise - no one can predict tomorrow's headline - it was the dawn of the Reality TV era.

These are the barbarians at the gate. The fall of the Roman Empire. The end of televised civilization (before Youtube). This meant that ordinary people – gasp! – could appear inside the electronic worship box. They could become famous. Without a SAG card.

Here in the UK this was exemplified in 2000 with the advent of Big Brother. If The Real World was the fornication Big Brother is the bastard child.

Or love child.

Reality TV is more a dirty secret than a guilty pleasure. The bourgeois deride it. The critics decry it and men deny it (except for The Ultimate Fighter). Why the stigma?

These were bad for you:

  • Britney and Kevin: Chaotic
  • My Big Fat Obnoxious Wedding
  • Celebrity Farm
  • Back To Reality
  • Celebrity Love Island
  • Love Cruise
  • Shalom In The House
  • Temptation Island
  • Age of Love
  • Filthy Rich Cattle Drive
  • Shattered
  • Totally Scott- Lee
  • Paris Hilton

The list of 17 years of dross is so exhaustive the remote control wouldn't work.

Back in 2003 then UK Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said she hoped for a viewer's revolt and warned the industry that the genre was being flogged to death. The latter remains true six years later. Yet even before the turn of the century critics were predicting the end of reality. So while it's true that trash like Big Brother (UK) is on a respirator VH1 is on an all time high. Enter Celebreality.

Reality television is generally accepted to include behemoths like American Idol and on this side of the water The X-Factor. However these are talent shows. Survivor and The Amazing Race, two more behemoths, are game shows. Reality television as meant is an alternative and competition to scripted drama. Ergo reality TV is unscripted drama.

Herein lays the source of derision. Ordinary people are pushing card carrying talent off the gravy train and the reason why it's so successful is because scripted drama sucks!

There are of course must-watch exceptions – HBO's The Wire HBO's Generation Kill HBO's True Blood – but for the hours invested watching scripted drama the entertainment return is abysmal. This could be the fault of the writers and producers but I blame the public. If we didn't sit in front of the goggle box and gawp at NCIS it wouldn't be renewed.

Reality TV on the other hand is unpretentious. It is vaudeville for the ipod generation (I clock in at generation X). The most the Flavor of Love franchise/spin-offs can hope for is to make us laugh. This is what they do. Despite the sometimes obvious production manipulation.

Scripted TV is contrived obvious and fraudulent. In many cases it breaks the rules it's laid down for us. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 204 is a perfect example. Reality TV is contrived obvious and fraudulent. Paradoxically it doesn't aspire to be otherwise.

We know Charm School wasn't about bettering strippers. Sharon Osbourne let us in on the joke even if Mo'Nique didn't. Flavor of Love wasn't about Flav finding 'the One'. New York found that out quick enough. And the Rock of Love Bus is just an aging rocker's ego trip. Funny though.

In I Love New York was Tiffany really looking to find someone? I think she was. But she soon got cured of that. New York Goes to Hollywood was abysmal by the way - a perfect example of contrived reality. You could see the set-ups in the script. In Real Chance of Love the boys were clued up – it was rappers in a strip club time.

I love Money is more reality than game show. The all-starlets know what their job description is – a holiday in Mexico, all expenses paid, all you can drink, a chance to get laid, the obligation to entertain the (almighty) viewer. Oh and a half chance of winning $¼million. While it's worth something.

Hot chicks (Prancer) in bikinis (Myammee) coupled with hi-jinks (The Entertainer). This is reality at its best (better than Cheaters). I recap it every week and from next week I'll be posting an op-com about it. Because I can do that. Celebrealitydaily gives you the other side: background, behind the scenes, photos. Yeah.

It's all good unclean fun for the audience. I know it's not to everyone's taste. Some people enjoy Trisha. For the record I contest the charges of racism. I've watched enough TV to form my own opinions about un/scripted racism: The Real World. Channel 4.

People will always watch television. After a harassed day at work you have to unwind somehow. It's up to the networks to up their game. In these uncertain economic times the industry should do its duty. With the worse to come for a lot of people TV may become one of the last resorts of affordable entertainment. What the American industry produce the UK and the rest of the world buy. Or rip off. You want scripted dramas? Hire better writers (like me) better producers better execs. Better agents.

Reality TV is a given. I applaud it with most kudos going to Vh1. Because I like what makes me laugh at no expense to others. Wanna be on TV? Enter at your own switch. It's just like blogging. We click. Ad infinitum.

When The Real World was first broadcast on MTV in 1992 it was the dawn of the Reality TV era.

It's not even high noon.

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Wednesday, 25 February 2009



T-Weed's stand out scene in I Love New York was him telling Omorosa that he's worth over $100million. Later when New York confronted him with his deadbeat credit report he wore the look of a little boy caught with his daddy's big boy magazines. But he kept lying. The brain freezes and the mouth continues. He's a fast talker is T-Weed. But a fast thinker he's not.

This week's MVP.

The morning after last night's eliminations. MILF calls out her team for stabbing her in the back and voting her in the box. She swears allegiance to Saaphyri and moves out of the Buddha bedroom. He's exasperated. But maybe it's beginning to dawn on him that another word for milf is cougar.

"They don't want the team..."

"They want you."

"You might want to think about that."

The cougar snarls. Buddha doesn't have a comeback. How could he? What MILF said makes strategic sense: if the Green Team want to save themselves they have to give up Buddha.

T-Weed wants to save himself.

The teams congregate downstairs to choose their captains for the next task. Saaphyri nominates Frank and no one opposes. In her interview segment she declares her maniacal hatred for Buddha. They're building quite a bond Saaphyri and Frank.

Over on the Green Team Buddha nominates Bonez for captain. Boo! Your world is falling apart Buddha and you're hiding behind the skinny boy.

The task begins. With team members placed in couples Becky and MILF sabotage their given partners, Ice and Buddha. That leaves T-Weed and Myammee alone against all the Gold Team except the exempt Cali(?)

T-Weed and Myammee stand strong as three Gold Team pairs fall around them.

Myammee looks like a nubian goddess yo.

But T-Weed slips. Frenchie and Prancer win!

Yup. Green Team lose. Again.

This is the part I don't get; Buddha leads the charge and Green Team blame T-Weed for their loss. This is making MILF look like a super genius for leaving this lot and she had to be coerced into doing so.

Back at the mansion and T-Weed's scrambling for a $250 grand life. He crawls on his belly to the Gold Team (which now includes Buckwild and MILF). These mathematicians surmise they need four votes to put Buddha in the box. Ie they need another vote.

Poor Bonez. Saaphyri and Becky use the good cop good cop routine with him. I know, but at least they weren't attempting to be cute and charming. They were appealing to his common sense of survival – Everybody hates Buddha; You are cordially invited to attend the lynch party.

It's vault day and T-Weed's scrambling for a $250 grand life. He puts it out there for everyone to vote for Buddha. Craig initiates the 15-minute countdown and Team captain Bonez takes charge. He calls the vote.

Buckwild's vote is purely tactical (and malicious). She's voting for no one except Buddha. Becky in the box. MILF, the second turncoat, goes in the box. Tally the vote for Buddha: Becky MILF and T-Weed raise their hands.

"Their little gang up tactics on me to get rid of Buddha is not going to work."


He does not take it well. But before he can say anything more than 'bitch'…

The Gold Team come in for the results.


There! That's the face I was talking about.

It's the power outing where everyone knows Saaphyri's little bitch Becky Buckwild is (always) safe.

T-Weed talks fast. He talks about the pilgrims and Mexico. And small pox (?)

T-Weed accuses MILF of being a double agent. That gets Franks attention.

So MILF gets T-Weed's attention.

The Entertainer shoos away the women for the one-on-one. T-Weed doesn't shut the hell up.

He hates Buddha.

So does Frank.

It's time for the eliminations.

Ditto last week Buckwild gets her cheque with no preamble and finally! T-Weed has run out of things to say.

But Frank the Entertainer hasn't.

Yup. T-Weed is bounced.

And he's still fast talking in his Interview Segment.

Craig J Jackson cuts in on the Gold Team celebrations. Slow down. There's a twist!

Craig talks like Jeff Probst. Yup. It's time to switch up the teams!

The girls vote for a girl captain – Myammee got two, Saaphyri got 10 million. It's a landslide. The boys vote and 20 Pack wins all but one – Frank voted for himself. It's a mudslide!

Like Day 1 the two captains proceed in a schoolyard vote. But! Another caveat – the reality-starlets are odd numbered. So just like Day 1 someone is going home.

Saaphyri picks Frank first. They've got a bond. 20 Pack chooses Heat/Caliente. (Who cares about the rest?)

The all new Green Team.

The all new Gold Team

Aah. Buddha.

That's right Frank. What you couldn't do VH1 did for you.

While the strongest alliance remains Saaphyri and Buckwild.

And Frank.

Next week on I Love Money 2:

VH1 make a play for 'Survivor's' audience.

Read more Thrill Fiction: I Love Money 205

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Friday, 20 February 2009

Glossary: Ryan Alexander Jenkins and the Culture of Celebrity

1 Paris Hilton

2 Jade Goody

3 Jordan

4 Nadya Suleman

5 Jodie Marsh
6 Jon & Kate plus 8

7 was convicted of illegal weapon charges

8 Brittanya O'Campo

9 Saaphyri Windsor

10 convicted wife beater

11 Sir Alan Sugar

12 dragons in their den

13 General Sir Mike Jackson

14 Kate Gosselin

15 Kato Kaelin

Watch The 16th Minute with Kato Kaelin in Comedy | View More Free Videos Online at

16 Dog the Bounty Hunter
Warning! Racist language alert!

17 Pop Will Eat Itself

18 devour the young

19 Michael Jackson's fate

[Glossary] A Nightmare on Elm Street [part 2]

[1] Wesley Strick - wikipedia

[2] Eric Heisserer - wikipedia

[3] self-censorship - Going To Peices

[4] preschool paedophiles - McMartin preschool trial

[5] North American gross is $33million - The Numbers

[6] Halloween 2007 - The Numbers

[7] Halloween 2 2009 - The Numbers

[8] video nasties - wikipedia

[9] Koopaskeep

[10] Project Child Murdering Robot

[Glossary] A Nightmare on Elm Street [part 1]

[1] Bram Stoker's Dracula - The Project Gutenberg Ebook

[2] Dracula 1931 - Reelviews Movie Reveiws

[3, 4] The first wave of re-imaginings may already be over - Friday the 13th Part 2 and Halloween 3D

[5] inspiration - Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome

[6] Never Sleep Again 2006.

[7] Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy

[7.5] Star Wars - wikipedia

[8] college fees were escalating - Congressional Quarterly

[9] divorce was epidemic

[9.5] Generation X - wikipedia

[10] transcends this story into mythos - Horrorbid

[11] Final Girl - Ax Wound

[12] the crimes of their rightousness

[13] the house that Freddy built

[14] Ringu - wikipedia

[15] A Nightmare on Elm Street (reboot) - koopaskeep

[16] A Nightmare on Elm Street (reboot) - koopaskeep

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Glossary: Jasmine Fiore and the Culture of Celebrity

1 Sooperserial

2 Michael Jackson's passing

3 Ricky Robot

4 idle talkers, tatlers

5 69 British Armed Forces personnel have died

6 150 deaths

7 Baby P

8 Baby Peter Connelly

9 Between a third and half (murdered women) are married to their spouses

10 Scott Peterson

11 presumption of innocence

12 coherent responses

13 those who do not trust the law

14 panders to the gallery of public opinion

gallery of public opinion

16 Ricky Robot

17 woman beater

18 Frank Sinatra

19 Vh1

20 51 Minds

[Glossary] Wes Craven's New Nightmare

[1] Brat Pack - New York Magazine

[2] The LA 'quakes - BBC

[3] lowest box office of the franchise - box office mojo
[4] Koopaskeep
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Glossary: The 20 Best Horror Films

[1] The American Nightmare

(Invasion of the Body Snatchers)... is classic cinema that serves as an allegory of McCarthyism and communism.

What kind of culture goes to such macabre lengths to obtain and maintain beauty?

This woman remained in leading roles flop after flop.

[5] Mark Kermode

[6] Zombie Flesh Eaters

[7] Empire magazine

[8] It ruined his career.

It ruined his career.

The Criterion Collection DVD

Cinema may well be best sourced from the novel.

[12] video nasties scare.

[13] Hundreds more on DVD.

Source article: The 20 Best Horror Films