Rock ‘n’ Roll

Sunday is usually laundry day for me. The worst part of apartment life is having to schlep your laundry to the laundromat and back. It’s always that much more awful in the winter. But I digress. Anyhow, so I was doing massive amounts of ironing and tuned into Bravo so as to have something mindless to watch as I pressed.

They were showing doing another marathon of Project Runway and I caught the latest episode. I don’t mind the marathons really. To be honest, most of their programming isn’t exactly must see TV for me so I often miss these things when they originally air.

The episode in question had a would-be pop singer trying to change her image. The designers needed to come up with a concept, pitch it to her, and then the three designers she picked had to lead design teams and create the outfit. Okay fine. The singer is busy doing her own self-promotion, which is why she’s doing this, whether or not this woman can actually sing–I don’t know. Never heard of her and I have to wonder: had she not done the show, would I have? Then of course, there are the umpteen million ads for Banana Republic. And heck, they even have commercials hawking the furnishings that the designers have in their Project Runway apartments.

Which in a desultory way brings me to my point. Reality TV has nothing to do with reality. I think by now, we all know that. I’ve heard people say that it’s so pervasive because of the audience. Don’t think that’s really true. Otherwise why are they tuning in droves to see traditional fiction-based shows like Desperate Housewives and Lost?

People, it’s so pervasive because of the money. Think about it. It’s not just the savings of salaries for cast. It’s all the product placement opportunities, the tie-ins, the promotions.

And it’s lame. The episode that started me writing about this was fairly blah. The singer had was unintentionally hilarious. Best moment was when she told the designer, “I’m really into French prostitutes.” The chick who has gone back to thinking that a strategy really matters here opted to give her teammates the silent treatment, because hey, nothing says “I am a talented professional” like behaving like a second-grader in front of a national cable TV audience. The singer herself had absolutely no taste. And the judges chose to eliminate someone who did the professional thing, rather than the drama queen who had a temper tantrum and disrupted work flow.

There’s only so much grade-school hijinks I can take.


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