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The W - Random - FOX spouse swapping show sets new standard for degradation
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Boston Idol
Blutwurst








Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 2878 days
Last activity: 2671 days
#1 Posted on
Instant Rating: 5.54
Don't worry, this isn't some polemic
on the sanctity of the family or on
how these supposed reality series
pander to the voyeur in us all.

If I didn't appreciate the "reality"
genre's constant attempts to raise
the bar on degradation and suffering,
our modern answer to the macabre
"dance marathons" of the Depression,
I wouldn't have watched the show,
though I note several critics didn't
let not seeing the show stand in the
way of yet another sermon.

No, I understand that people find
the degradation and suffering of
others funny, particularly if the
suffering isn't too severe and if
the person is portrayed as someone
who deserved a little comeuppance.

But, I did think FOX' latest formula
was going to stretch too far for
reality fans. Swapping moms between
a poor black family and a wealthy
polyracial family seemed too contrived,
even for a genre where "the twist"
has become as obligatory as Michael
Myers not actually being killed.

Sure enough, the show went immediately
to some hackneyed spots like the wealthy
family taking their new mom, Al Mela,
out for sushi so that she could make
horrified faces. Tammy Nakamura, the
kind of ex-cheerleader blond one often
sees on shopping channels encouraged
her new, poor kids to set college goals,
telling them "this is America." FOX
even tossed up some fireworks in a too
obvious attempt to dress up that remark.

But the show started to pick up speed
the next morning. Al Mela got up early
and discovered that 72-year-old Nana,
the live-in mother of the rich plastic
surgeon, was the only one awake. They
spent some time bonding until the others
straggled out of bed, which meant...

Poor dad Anthony Biggins found his new
wife, Tammy, sound asleep in the morning.
He shook his head and closed the door.
She later awoke, checked the clock, and
went right back to bed. Eventually one
of the hungry children woke her up.

Audio played of the kids talking about
how new mom had promised to cook their
breakfast as shots aired of the kids
struggling to cook their own eggs on
the stove while Tammy read the paper,
but that was not the lowlight.

A later scene aired where a petulent
Tammy, who apparently never cooked,
ordered her poor husband to go out
and buy her a sandwich. He tried to
explain that he saves his dining out
money for the weekends, but she was
adamant. Then she said it was a shame
that they didn't have any bacon so
that she could have a BLT.

Cut to a shot of poor Anthony Biggins
standing over the stove frying up some
bacon for his useless new trophy wife.
I was amazed he didn't bash her skull
in with the skillet. Meanwhile she
was dozing off in a chair waiting for
her meal to be served to her. Unless
she's diabetic we've got a new leader
for "worst woman in a reality show."

And this being a reality show, their
had to be a twist. No, no, not the
hokey twist where the new mom gets to
decide how to spend $50,000 on her new
family, who gives a shit about that?!
The Nakamuras spend that dining out
and the Biggins' would probably use
it for something smart like a better
house or a college fund.

No, the twist I'm referring to is when
the producer twists the knife in the
back of his hapless victim. That is
the degradation I mentioned earlier.

While shots aired of Anthony Biggins
cooking patiently while useless new
wife Tammy waited for him to serve her,
FOX aired clips and a voice over of
Tammy telling the producers how she
would give her new family the benefit
of her positive outlook and teach them
a new way of looking at their world.

Un-fucking-believable!!

I can't wait to see what they do to
Tammy next week. I want the epilogue
where Tammy sees how the show was
edited, preferable in front of her
family and friends. Now that's what
I call degradation.

Frank
Promote this thread!
OlFuzzyBastard
Knackwurst








Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 4 days
AIM:  
#2 Posted on
Instant Rating: 5.98
We are now at the point where satire has become obsolete.



"There are limits to my comedy. There are things that I'll never laugh at. The handicapped - because there's nothing funny about them. Or any deformity. It's like when you see someone look at a little handicapped and go 'Ooh, look at him. He's not able-bodied. I am. I'm prejudiced.' Yeah, well, at least the little handicapped fella is able-minded. Unless he's not. It's difficult to tell with the wheelchair ones."
---David Brent, The Office

"Lots of links prove that you did your homework but they don't necessarily mean that your homework is correct."
---TBogg
EddieBurkett
Boudin blanc








Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 12 hours
#3 Posted on
Instant Rating: 7.20
Wasn't there a skit on Chapelle's Show called "Trading Spouses" that had the exact same premise, (except of course that sex was also implied)? Should't there be a lawsuit brewing? (Especially since this is the one time I wouldn't mind if an injunction prevented the show from premiering...)

Edit: OFB beat me by on the refence by 40 seconds or so.

(edited by EddieBurkett on 21.7.04 1842)


You've gotta carry that weight...
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3386 days
Last activity: 3296 days
ICQ:  
#4 Posted on
Instant Rating: 5.25
I'm starting to wonder if the whole concept of reality TV isn't just one big joke that the common viewer isn't in on.

Maybe the joke isn't on the poor shmucks who take the money and humiliate themselves on TV, but rather on the clowns who watch it week after week. Executives sit around and challenge themselves not by coming up with quality programming, but by seeing how low they can set the bar and still get the rubes to tune in. Instead of the viewers watching and laughing at the people in the show, the REAL point here is for the execs to watch and laugh at the idiots who watch their show. Kinda like the guys who made themselves secret characters in NBA Jam; the real joke is for the writers' sake.

It's the only way I can wrap my head around this stuff. Then again, it's still funny to see what people will subject themselves to for a dollar, so what do I care?



The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Boston Idol
Blutwurst








Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 2878 days
Last activity: 2671 days
#5 Posted on
Instant Rating: 5.54
Oddly enough, the complaint about stealing
the concept for the show is coming from ABC.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/headline/entertainment/2676665

Seems ABC spent over a year working on a
show called "Wife Swap" only to see FOX
get on the air first with "Trading Spouses."

"This is bad for the business, which should
be finding new, pure, interesting and exciting
new concepts", said ABC Entertainment chief
Stephen McPherson.

No doubt critics of the lowbrow "reality"
genre would encourage McPherson to look
for "exciting new concepts" that don't
involved humiliation and degradation.

No doubt McPherson wouldn't understand
their objections.

TV: Love it, leave it, or change it.

Frank

"We're not a respectable network. We're
a whorehouse network, and we have to take
whatever we can get."
- Robert Duvall, "Network"
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 22 hours
#6 Posted on
Instant Rating: 7.25
    Originally posted by BigVitoMark
    I'm starting to wonder if the whole concept of reality TV isn't just one big joke that the common viewer isn't in on.

    Maybe the joke isn't on the poor shmucks who take the money and humiliate themselves on TV, but rather on the clowns who watch it week after week. Executives sit around and challenge themselves not by coming up with quality programming, but by seeing how low they can set the bar and still get the rubes to tune in. Instead of the viewers watching and laughing at the people in the show, the REAL point here is for the execs to watch and laugh at the idiots who watch their show.


It took you how long to figue this out? We are dumb enough to watch. We quit, they change.



Perception is reality
The Vile1
Lap cheong








Since: 4.9.02
From: California

Since last post: 2021 days
Last activity: 1753 days
#7 Posted on
Instant Rating: 3.83
The biggest joke of reality TV is that reality tv shows actually have WRITERS. So basically, unscripted tv is scripted. The writing jobs on reality TV are non-union though, so the writers don't get union benefits while working on them. Recently GLAAD influenced FOX's killing of a reality show called SERIOUSLY DUDE, I'M GAY which would feature straight people trying to act gay. I met one of the writers for the show, Christian McLaughlin, at UT Hollywood Seminar who is gay himself...funny huh?

To show just how much the writers think of reality tv, McLaughlin jokingly hoped someone on Superstar USA on the WB would kill themself in order to stop the trend of reality shows.




"Don't compare my arm to your cheap arm!"
-Edward Elric
Boston Idol
Blutwurst








Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 2878 days
Last activity: 2671 days
#8 Posted on
Instant Rating: 5.54
Hollywood writers can't stand "reality TV"
because ordinary people deliver better
dialog than they can write. Spare us your
protestations, you talentless, derivative
hacks. If you were any good, people would
watch your shows instead.

Frank

(That's a bit like Selig hoping for a WWE
tragedy because he envies Vince's ratings.)
SeVen ™
Kishke








Since: 11.1.02
From: Japan

Since last post: 2459 days
Last activity: 2290 days
#9 Posted on
Instant Rating: 5.38
I watched the pilot for ABC's Wife Swap (Which like most reality shows is originally from BBC) And it was surprisingly good! It was heart breaking and the resolution was satisfying. Give Wife Swap a chance. Screw Fox.




R.I.P. Paul Bearer
1991-2004
Forever cemented in wrestling history

jfkfc
Liverwurst








Since: 9.2.02

Since last post: 107 days
Last activity: 3 days
#10 Posted on
Instant Rating: 3.87
    Originally posted by The Vile1
    The biggest joke of reality TV is that reality tv shows actually have WRITERS. So basically, unscripted tv is scripted.
Isn't this also known as Professional Wrestling?



"I'm very sorry the government taxes their tips, that's fucked up. That ain't my fault. It would seem to me that waitresses are one of the many groups the government fucks in the ass on a regular basis. Look, if you ask me to sign something that says the government shouldn't do that, I'll sign it, put it to a vote, I'll vote for it, but what I won't do is play ball. And as for this non-college bullshit I got two words for that: learn to fuckin' type, 'cause if you're expecting me to help out with the rent you're in for a big fuckin' surprise."
The Vile1
Lap cheong








Since: 4.9.02
From: California

Since last post: 2021 days
Last activity: 1753 days
#11 Posted on
Instant Rating: 3.83
    Originally posted by jfkfc
      Originally posted by The Vile1
      The biggest joke of reality TV is that reality tv shows actually have WRITERS. So basically, unscripted tv is scripted.
    Isn't this also known as Professional Wrestling?


Y'see I dunno about that. I think there's definitely a distinction between the shit of reality TV and pro wrestling. Though there are times when I think wrestling is just as bad and I won't watch it. So maybe you got a point.

But the other thing is, in wrestling people are playing characters, they have gimmicks, its a show, a form of theatre. In reality tv, there's not really any of that, its just blatant, disgusting exploitation. So yeah, in the end I think there's a big difference between pro wrestling and reality tv. At least the kinds of reality tv we are talking about in this thread.




"Don't compare my arm to your cheap arm!"
-Edward Elric
Excalibur05
Knackwurst








Since: 19.1.02
From: Minnesota

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 11 hours
AIM:  
#12 Posted on
Instant Rating: 7.73
    Originally posted by The Vile1
    The biggest joke of reality TV is that reality tv shows actually have WRITERS.


You expect the hosts/narrators to come up with their own stuff?



Tonight I wanna ruin my life,
I wanna throw it all away,
In a spectacular way
Boston Idol
Blutwurst








Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 2878 days
Last activity: 2671 days
#13 Posted on
Instant Rating: 5.54
> You expect the hosts/narrators to come up with their own stuff?

Good point. Also anyone who doubts the importance of
branding should look at all the excellent branding done
in shows like Survivor and Queer Eye. Not just logos
and catchphrases, though "the tribe has spoken" is our
generation's "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!",
but also the formatting of episodes into clearly defined
and easily recognizable segments. People like cookie
cutter formulas because they make it easy to follow
along without paying strict attention.

Frank

(The music is an important part of branding, too.)
The Vile1
Lap cheong








Since: 4.9.02
From: California

Since last post: 2021 days
Last activity: 1753 days
#14 Posted on
Instant Rating: 3.83
    Originally posted by Excalibur05
      Originally posted by The Vile1
      The biggest joke of reality TV is that reality tv shows actually have WRITERS.


    You expect the hosts/narrators to come up with their own stuff?


Why not? :)




"Don't compare my arm to your cheap arm!"
-Edward Elric
Big G
Potato korv








Since: 21.8.03
From: the people who brought you Steel Magnolias....

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#15 Posted on
Instant Rating: 2.98
    Originally posted by The Vile1
    ... people are playing characters ...


In the first few reality TV shows I think you may have got just pure people, but now everyone has an agenda - so you could (and I do) argue that the above is now true of Reality TV as well.

For example how many really bad singers are trying to become the next William Hung (or whtever his name was).

G



    Originally posted by Jeb Tennyson Lund
    One of these days, when Triple H is in the middle of one of his long grunting promos, Jericho should just lean forward, stick his finger on the end of Triple H's schnozz and say, "poooooooke!" No one will know what to do.

WOTD 16 Dec 2003
Jonny_English
Mettwurst








Since: 18.3.04
From: Derby, UK

Since last post: 2861 days
Last activity: 2684 days
#16 Posted on
Instant Rating: 2.21
"Wife Swap" originated on Channel Four in the UK. It's kinda like watching a bad accident. You know its wrong to stare, but....

There is talk of a new reality tv show in the UK (featured in most of Friday's UK newspapers) in which a woman chooses a guy on sex appeal, charm, wealth etc. (the usual stuff), and another guy is chosen on the basis of his genetic make up. They're (I'm not joking) going to have a "sperm race".

Here is the link, you may need to register to access it:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/07/23/nsperm23.xml
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