Thursday, March 16, 2006
Another Point of View
I don’t know which is worse – that some executive at Viacom green lighted Flavor of Love or that I sat through the 90 minute season finale. I just needed to know if that clock sporting rapper was going to be sucked into the fallacy of Ms. New York or if he’d see the light and pick Ms. Hoops. With a bowl of freshly microwaved popcorn, I settled in and awaited the answer.
I’ve been a reality television fan since the very first episode of The Real World. Watching Kevin and Julie have it out on the sidewalk in front of the residence was better than any fiction a television writer could have penned. People emotionally attach better to circumstances and situations based in reality. Just look at the success of A Million Little Pieces, a book inaccurately distributed as non-fiction and then viciously attacked as if to dismiss it altogether when the truth came out. Many readers attributed the success of the writing solely to the belief that the story was true, not that the writing was potentially stellar.
From Extreme Makeover Home Edition with the eccentric Ty to Celebrity Fit Club with the hard as nails Harvey, I’m captured through the entire episode. Don’t get me wrong. I have no idea when these shows actually air. Not that it matters. Just flip through the channels and you’ll easily stumble across Danny Banaduce car wrecking his life just one more time or Tammy Faye Messner living it up with Vanilla Ice. I’m clearly not alone in my fondness for reality shows because more and more TV execs are replacing script writers with splicers and dicers assigned to simply edit together pieces of real life.
The one and only reality show that I am glued to is Project Runway. Maybe it’s because I’m a fashionista. Or maybe it’s because I love the drama between creative minds. Either way, I’m addicted. I cleared the entire Wednesday evening that Bravo aired the season finale. I was routing for Daniel V. from the onset. He had such a way with the needle, twisting simple fabric into elegant clothing. His youth set him apart from the other contestants, but in a good way. Daniel never once spoke back to the judges a la Santino and he never once designed a catastrophe a la Zulema. He represented a great talent with even greater character.
When the final winner was announced, I was crushed. Chloe? How could they pick her? The collection she showed at Fashion Week lacked diversity in design, fabric and purpose. Sure, she can sew a nice dress but the items prancing down the catwalk weren’t appropriate for an entire collection. My Daniel being robbed was worsened by Michael Kors’s creepy winky comment that if Daniel wanted a job he should give him a call. It reeked of meet-me-at-the-bath-house-in-the-village.
I suppose the one thing that draws me to reality television is the intimacy. In a way, you are invited into someone’s life, or at least the producer’s edited version of someone’s life. It is totally one sided. You get to know a person’s personality, how they eat their food, what they do for fun and they know absolutely nothing about you. In fact, they don’t even know you exist. The camera is just like the mirror used in psychological studies. The world can see in but the person being observed can’t see out.
This blog got started with the high hopes of using it as my spring board toward a writing career. It was to act as practice, forcing me to sit down and put words to paper no less than twice a week. Writing teachers always stress you should write what you know and that is exactly what I've done. I was suddenly the editor of my reality, sometimes using facts and other times twisting fact with not quite fact. I then invited people into my spliced and diced world for feedback. Over time, my audience has grown beyond those who actually know me. My ego thrives on the comments made and the escalating ticker tracking my visitors. That a complete stranger thinks enough of my ramblings to link my blog to his or her blog baffles me. I wanted it but I didn’t know if I deserved it.
In the throws of spewing about my life and others around me, I’ve suddenly realized that my position has changed. I’m no longer sitting on the outside of the mirror looking in but I’m ignorantly standing in front of the mirror puckering my lips and fixing my hair, unaware that there are many faces staring back.
Will someone hate me the way I detested Omarosa because I am overly self-absorbed or self-righteous? Or will someone adore me just the way I adored Daniel V. for being forthright, sincere and for just giving it a good shot. In the end, I guess it isn’t about how I am interpreted or even by whom. What matters is that I’m doing what I love and by the sheer fact that I’ve slowly amassed a little audience of familiar faces and not so familiar faces, I must be doing something right.