Wednesday, July 13, 2005

This is Reality!

Hi All! : )

I must admit before writing this article that I do like some Reality TV. I particularly like the Apprentice, and I've enjoyed a few other shows. So I like Reality TV. But I have to admit it's kind of phony. I mean it's not like the people on these shows don't know that they are on TV, right? The people on the show might not be reading off of scripts, but it is edited in such a way as to tell a story.

But I still think Ben Shapiro, in his
latest article, might be reading too much into a talk he had with a Hollywood insider.
The irony of the situation is that reality television is a hoax. It's no more real than "The O.C." or "Law and Order," and it's considerably more deceptive. It's also much more profitable. I recently spoke with Dave Bell, president of Dave Bell Associates; Bell is a veteran documentary filmmaker and a pioneer in reality television. His company produced the first "Unsolved Mysteries" specials, among other reality projects. He describes reality TV programming as "the most unreal situation for something called 'reality' that anyone could imagine." According to Bell, "most reality TV is for the most part scripted but not under the jurisdiction of the Writer's Guild, and acted, though not under the jurisdiction of Screen Actor's Guild, and directed, though not under the jurisdiction of the Director's Guild of America. A lot of the people who appear in reality TV shows are actors or wannabe actors or wannabe celebrities at least."
Well duh. They are putting people into an unreal situation; everybody knows that. That doesn't mean that the people in the show aren't real people. And as for wanting to be a celebrity, that's every American's dream. We all want to be celebrities (I know I do anyway).

His larger part is about how unfettered access to reality TV is corrupting America (he references a forthcoming show on the Sundance Network about transvestites). I don't know about this; but it seems like the first amendment might have something to do with protecting reality TV from Mr. Shapiro.

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