hal tweets ·11:28 AM

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Reality TV Night :comments

Posted by Hal
Tags: production, Video sharing, Voyeurism

Just finished reality tv night. We watched one episode each of Intervention, The Moment of Truth and A Shot of Love With Tila Tequila. We watched them in that order. Lindsay came over to have dinner with us (I made spaghetti in tomato sauce with shrimp and scallops). Lindsay has just moved here from Montreal to work at the CBC. She’s also working with me on the Peep Culture CBC radio special. More on that as it develops. Anyway, Lindsay hadn’t seen any of these shows before so it was interesting to get her reaction.
The Intervention episode we watched featured a meth addict logger spiraling out of control as he struggled to deal with the death of his mother while his wife and kids looked on. It was pretty boring to start off, lots of interview testimonials about his background and problems. The wife had the best lines, stuff like: “His mind is a prison with many doors” and “Addiction is dragging this family into the grave.” But it doesn’t really pick up until we get right into it, with the logger and his wife fighting and the logger doing lines in his garage workshop and the kiddies crying. Every time logger snorted back another line of speed Lindsay and W would cringe. Eventually the Intervention happens and logger agrees to head off to a clinic for healing. Three months later he’s apparently all better and, as usual, there’s a quasi-happy ending. So why do we all feel so dirty?
The show I was most looking forward to was the one I hadn’t seen yet, the first episode of Moment of Truth, a new Fox venture. It’s eerily similar to a proposed ‘fake’ show I had suggested creating in various proposals for Peep Culture the book and documentary. My show was going to be called Your Deepest Secret and it was going to revolve around people’s willingness to confess secrets. The Fox show has a contestant and three guests – usually life partner, friend and family member. The contestant is asked personal questions and as they amass more money and move up levels, the questions get more and more pointed and personal. So it starts out with “Do you think you’re better looking than most guys your age?” and by level two it’s “Do you have something you don’t want your wife to know about.” The contestants have already been asked all these questions previously while hooked up to a lie detector test, so if they don’t answer the questions truthfully on TV a giant FALSE flashes above them and they lose. On the episode we watched a personal trainer who had already won $10,000 lost it all while his wife looked on when he denied sometimes touching his female clients more than necessary. FALSE!!! Wife cringed but you couldn’t tell if she was more upset about the money or about the revelations including one very amorphous admission that there were things he’d done he didn’t want his wife to know about.
Anyhooo…this show is the purest incarnation of the concept of Peep Culture I’d seen yet. There’s no claim of any kind of public benefit from watching this. It’s just pure peep. We’re just deriving entertainment from the normal everyday stuff of other people’s lives. Intervention at least claims to be showing people that they can and should overcome addiction. But Moment of Truth can’t really claim to be doing anything other than offering us 42 minutes of pure, delicious, squirmy, sleazy, supposed revelation.
For dessert we watched the final episode of A Shot of Love. We all knew she would pick the guy over the girl. Actually Lindsay kinda ruined it by revealing during dinner that her sister, a big fan, had already told her that she picks the guy and he dumps her a few months later. Still it was only the second episode I’d watched and the whole Springer-meets-Bachelor vibe of the show was momentarily compelling. At the end of the show Tila emerged to select the ‘winner’ wearing a frilly black party dress. W kept saying: she looks like a gremlin!

 

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The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...

 

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