Not-Reality Shows

Guess what? Those reality dating shows are soooo not real. Ha, ha, ha!  No, seriously.

I happened to be crewing on one of the dating reality shows.

Whoops, I’m about to go off on a tangent here.  There is always an internal conflict for an underemployed actor who has been hired to crew instead of to be in front of the camera.  In these gigs, there is a balance to be struck between one’s dreams–the essence of one’s entire being–against rent and cat food.

And then–and THEN–to hear a game show contestant being called “talent” by the show producers!  What greater humiliation?  What talent?  These contestants are on the show simply because they look good in skimpy outfits. Did they ever take an acting lesson in their lives? (Let me give you a clue: the answer is “NO.”)  Can they play any character other than themselves? No. Or believably pursue a character arc?  Um…nope.   Why the term “talent?”  Do producers actually think that looking good in skimpy outfits and knowing how to flirt is acting, is talented? Anyone can flirt–it’s genetically encoded in trillions of humans, dogs, pigs, turtles, even worms. That’s not talent.  They’re not talent.  Sure, if the audience wants to watch skimpily-clad flirts following their genetic instructions, a producer will surely find a way to get advertising dollars and put the show up.  But, why humiliate the noble profession of actors by calling these people “talent?”

Okay, let’s return from the tangent.  Follow me here in the further tales of the not-reality show.  Stand on set with me, listening in, as we set up for the next scene.

Producer to “Girl”: Let’s just have a little chat in between segments.  Just be yourself, Honey. We won’t put any words in your mouth. What did you think of the other girls?

Girl: I think Brenda is very pretty.

Producer to Girl: You know this is reality, and there are no scripts.  You just say whatever you want.  I can’t tell you what to say, right?  We want to see your own personality shine through.  You certainly are a lovely girl, Sexycakes.  You thought Brenda was a bit old and skanky, didn’t you?

Girl: No, I actually like her and I want to party with her after the show.  I think we could be friends.

Producer to Girl: Brenda was way too old and she was skanky.  My opinion.  You can say whatever you want, Dreamlips.  I’m just finding a way to cut this show together to feature more of your pretty face and I’d love to have a more dynamic relationship between you and Brenda.  You know what I mean?  It’s totally your choice.  Audiences, though, they like to see a little more ENERGY coming from their television stars.  So, Brenda was…”

Girl: Okay, I guess Brenda was old and skanky.

Producer to Girl: Hold that thought, Gorgeous.

Producer to Camera: Roll tape.

Producer to Girl: Say that again one more time, just like that.  Look at the camera.

GIRL tugs her neckline a bit lower.

Girl to Camera: Brenda was way too old and skanky.

Producer to Girl:  Have another cocktail, Honey.

After one segment, we had an interview with a male contestant.  He said on camera that he had rejected Girl #3 because she was wearing a hairpiece.  He doesn’t like that fake stuff, he confessed to the camera, to us and to the world.

Segue with me, if you will, to the on-camera interview with the rejected female contestant, Girl #3.

They show her the playback of the man’s interview and then turn the camera on for her feedback.  Tears flow down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry.  I had cancer and all my hair fell out.  I’m okay now, but my hair hasn’t grown back. In the audition they told me it would be okay to go on the show with a hairpiece.”

The young man in question, however, did spend most of the 5-day shoot drooling over the woman with the breast implants.  THAT fake stuff seems to be okay.

And the producers of the “reality” show?  They chose to air his interview, but not her response.

Producer to Girl #5: Do you like your boobs?

Girl #5 to camera: I love my boobs.

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