Thursday, February 20

Pizza, Blue’s Clues, and Reality Television...

What do these things have in common you ask? Nothing really. Well, not in any sort of global life changing sense. But they’re all interconnected in at least one way.

In my apartment we have some really crappy furniture. Our excuse is that we’re all starving students, or former students up to our eyes in loans and debts. The centre piece of the living room is an old futon which we’re using as a couch. It’s covered in a bedspread cover from Ikea. We’re using a large yellow Blue’s Clues pillow, and another normal pillow in a pillow case that matches the bedspread cover as cushions for the hard metal arms of the futon.

Seeing as Ottawa is about as cold as a “whore’s tit” in February, and seeing as we’re all very poor student / former students, my roommates and I usually spend some quality time every evening sitting on this futon watching television. Sometimes we spend the money that we should be saving for a new couch on Pizza.

Tonight is the must-see Thursday line up on most television stations. Chances are that my roommates and I will end up ordering a Pizza, sitting on the futon couch, and watching some sort of Reality Television show. Thus connecting the three subjects in the title of this blog.

But seeing as most of my Blogging subjects attempt to create a debate, or ask questions, I will continue this entry with a comment about Reality TV.

I studied Broadcasting in College, I ended up with a degree in film production, I’m working in the Government. Yep, a squandered talent and an un-accomplished dream. Don’t worry though, I’m still deluding myself, saying; “It’s only to pay the bills.”

During one of our Production classes in College our teacher asked us if we believed Reality Television, Survivor in particular, can truly be classified as Reality.

Many people said; “Sure, why not? There’s no proof that the stories are scripted, so isn’t it a show based on the true to life reactions of people?”

Some of us countered with; “Well, a true reality television show would have no interaction by any sort of host. The games and competitions in Survivor make it into a game show rather than a reality television show.”

Most of the class didn’t really care, and decided to go drink some beers on break and come back to the class a little bit loaded.

Our teacher agreed with the students who said Survivor wasn’t truly a Reality television show. He claims that a true reality television show would be a pure documentary. And a pure documentary is a documentary with no influence from the film maker, in any form, including editing and questioning. He used an Andy Warhol film called “Sleep” as his example. In this film Warhol films a person from a single camera angle for over eight hours, while the subject is sleeping.

Our teacher claimed that this is “Fly on the Wall” documentary. No interference from the filmmaker, simple observation and nothing else. He said that a true Reality Television show would utilize this fly on the wall technique.

Now that I’ve written all of that, maybe someone will comment. But I’ll keep going with some of my observations about Reality Television.

I don’t watch very much Reality TV, or TV in general. When my roommates are watching TV I’m usually on the computer, or reading my book, or just distracting them by talking to them. But as of late a few shows have caught my attention.

My list of current TV shows are as follows....

That 70's Show - Mostly for it’s pure hilarity and it makes me think of the Wonder Years
Degrassi Jr. High, High, Next Generation - Can’t get enough of that Joey I tell ya’ !
Pro-Wrestling - It’s a man’s soap opera
Joe Millionaire - My girlfriend watches this and I managed to get hooked by laughing at the stupid catty women, what a bunch of hoes!
Justice League, X-Men Evolution - Saturday morning cartoons about superheros...nuff said
Fear Factor - Sometimes you just have to see a person eat sheep guts and cow testicles

These are the shows I enjoy watching on a regular basis. I don’t always manage to catch the newest episodes of each of them, and I don’t mind missing part of the story lines, but for some reason or another, I find that each of them offers something that will keep me entertained for the duration of it’s screening.

Last week my girlfriend was very sick, and I was trying to be nice by staying with her rather than going into the bedroom to play video games, or read my book. By the way Shogun is a great novel. It was a Thursday night and she was channel surfing, probably looking for a Trading Spaces marathon...(Shudder) when she found the newest version of Survivor on Global.

Normally I despise the entire concept of Survivor. If I were trapped on an Island I sure as hell wouldn’t be competing in those gay challenges, and if I were to win One Million Dollars for surviving, I’d smash my opponents heads in with rocks while they sleep. Uh, did I just say that? Whoops.

Seriously now, I don’t like Survivor, but this time it seems to have a twist, it’s Men vs Women. Well what kind of manly man wouldn’t want to see some men take on the fairer sex in mental and physical challenges? So my roommate Greg and I decided to watch the show with PixiStix, my girlfriend, we laughed as the women tried to build a fire and failed, we laughed when the women couldn’t manage to erect a shelter, and we enjoyed watching the men dominate them in the first half of the immunity challenge.

But then the un-thinkable happened. The stupid cocky men couldn’t manage to get across a balance beam and finish a puzzle, thus leading to the women completing the challenge and winning immunity. What a humbling experience. So now I feel forced to tune in every week to cheer on the boys.

The plan for tonight, sitting on the couch with the Blue’s Clues pillow, probably eating a pizza, and watching reality tv.

Oh, and on a side note. What the hell kind of person would volunteer for that new show Married by America? You’re going to let the American public choose your spouse for you? These are the people who elected George W. Bush as their President. I use the term elected loosely.


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