Posts tagged "Reality TV"

The Inescapability of Being Yourself (in Tahiti)

Another worthy riff in this past Sunday’s The NY Times Magazine, this time from Andrea Seigel concerning “The Life Lessons Hidden in Reality TV.”  She tackles the messages found beneath the surface of three particularly potent shows, Survivor, The Bachelor and Say Yes to the Dress, and while there’s a fair amount to say about each, her take on Survivor was too rich not to reproduce here (and for those who stopped watching decades ago, the insights translate to the Bravo stable fairly well). She casts the original jungle show as a parable of the limits of self-awareness and gives…

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Coal: The Power of Imputation

A couple of weeks ago, the Wizard of Netflix recommended the Spike TV (home of all things faux-masculine) reality series Coal. It seemed riveting because it followed two shifts of coal miners down where it is “dark as a dungeon” (Merle Travis)… and it was. I was unprepared, however, for the explosion of Gospel insight. For this reason, I drank deeply from the series, finishing the first season (and only… so far) in three days.

A bit of background: Cobalt Coal Company (the focus of the show) is a small coal company that operates in Westchester, West Virginia which is home…

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The Voice and Gabriel Biel

To counter ABC’s reality dominance with American Idol, NBC has launched (and hyped) a new vocal competition show, called The Voice. NBC’s angle involves selecting the candidates purely based on vocal performance- not stage presence and sex appeal- by having contestants audition for celebrity voice coaches, who sit with their backs turned to the vocalist.

If the contestant measures up, coaches can press their buzzer at any time during the audition, whereby their chair will turn to face the singer and a sign lights up saying, “I WANT YOU” (all caps). If a performer cannot attract the attention of any of the…

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Another Week Ends: Twittercide, Paul Simon, Reality TV, Reasons To Quit, Better Book Titles, Community & Shallow Small Groups

1. A great little editorial on Slate about the recent instances of “Twittercide” committed by folks as wide-ranging as Gilbert Gottfried, Tucker Carlson, Keith Olbermann, and Rashard Mendenhall. The author wisely points out how silly it is to blame the medium – its immediacy is a big part of its genius after all – that while twitter may amplify trash-talking by catering to impulse, the animus/judgment was there a priori. That is, the problems are a matter of nature, not technology or even self-control:

I reject the idea that Twitter trips up naïve users such…

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The Lady(?) Doth Protest Too Much

If you’re like me–and lets hope you are:)–then you’ve been anxiously waiting for the 11th season of America’s Next Top Model. As I’m sure you already know, there has been a lot of “internet buzz” about the full inclusion of a competitor named Isis, who is the first female contestant actually born male. Although this show has consistently failed to provide a legitimate “Top Model,” its value as another enjoyable vehicle for dramatized social engineering (think back to when the Real World was good) is limitless.

Now, this post is not about the specifics of transgender people per se; rather,…

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