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VH1 News Presents: Reality Secrets Revealedby Jamie Goralski -- 01/06/2004
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The show begins with a hurried montage of various scandalous clips from various shows. This clever editing move is employed throughout the entire hour so get used to it. Not only are my remote’s pause and rewind buttons are now conspiring to quit but my attention span has been permanently lessened to about .8 seconds. Thank you, VH-1. If this reads as choppy, I’m sorry. It was a very fast-paced show and they got a lot of interviews and footage crammed into an hour and there is no way to do that and maintain a soothing flow.
Trishelle Cannatella, Real World: Las Vegas, provides the opening quote: “I knew we were being filmed but at the time I didn’t think about it.” I guess this proves once and for all that you don’t have to be conscious to get through the Bunim and Murray screening process, as long as you’re beautiful.
I can’t share all of the various clips with you unless you want this recap to be 800 pages long, but can I just say this? Teck jumping naked into the pool first episode of Real World: Hawaii is something I can live the rest of my life without ever seeing again. Happily.
The narrator informs us that this special will alert us to the fakes, the frauds, and the outright lies of reality TV. Reshoots, creative editing, and what the stars deal with when the cameras finally stop rolling. Everyone on the edge of your seat? Good.
Irene McGee, Real World: Seattle, says she was psychologically traumatized after the show was over. Wasn’t she psychologically traumatized by her season? We are then told that reality TV is a “festering boil on the ass of humanity.” That is some sexy imagery!
Finally here are the opening credits and on with the show…
January 27, 2003, the producers of Joe Millionaire led us to believe Evan Marriott and Sarah Kozer were doing the dirty in the bushes. She is furious as she says it never happened.
Matthew Felling, Center For Media and Publicity Affairs, says that, “Reality television is like reality the same way that professional wrestling is like wrestling. It’s not quite the real thing but it really draws a crowd.”
So do train wrecks.
Speaking of train wrecks there is a clip tossed in here showing Heidi Strobel, Survivor: The Amazon, getting naked for peanut butter and chocolate. Can that be placed in the vault along with pixilated Teck and never shown again? I’d appreciate it.
Toni Ferarri, who was a cast member of both Love Cruise and Paradise Hotel, feels played by both the producers and writers but concedes it is what she signed on for. For the seven 12-year-olds out there who still believe The Real World is an accurate depiction of real life, we are told that it, in fact, is not. Danny Roberts, Real World: New Orleans, talks about the false circumstances in that in the actual real world no one gives you a job and you don’t get to live rent free. And most of us don’t live in a TV studio. Irene McGee tells us it’s like living on your high school stage. Trishelle informs us that they even had microphones in the headboards. Toni says that there were approximately 1500 surveillance cameras on Paradise Hotel and mics everywhere. You know those necklaces they were forced to wear to signify their coupledom? They weren’t just ugly jewelry, they were ugly sound equipment as they were mics also.
Ben Pappas, US Weekly, tells us for every Survivor challenge where we see only the contestants and Jeff Probst, there are hundreds of crew members just off camera.
Ever wonder about those private confessionals used on so many shows? Those aren’t just therapeutic avenues for extemporaneous venting. They are interviews with the directors. They show a very funny and very unflattering clip here of Toni completely enraged. She is one scary girl. I was watching in the safety of my bedroom and actually flinched from her harangue. Both Irene McGee and Amaya Brecher, Real World: Hawaii, confirm that the staff stirs up trouble by passing along gossip and trying to get fights started amongst the cast.
I love Amaya. I almost didn’t recognize her as she is no longer blonde, but she looks great. I have always thought she got a really raw deal with how she was treated during her season and I’m glad they got her for this show. It’s nice to see she has it all in perspective.
Back to the interviews posing as confessionals. Mike “Boogie” Malin from Big Brother 2 and Gideon Horowitz from The Restaurant concur that the staff, when not trying to fuel the fighting, attempt to plant the seeds of romance by mentioning specific women to them in flattering ways.
Ever wonder how they manage to capture everything interesting on tape? Some don’t, not the first time out anyway. When Gideon had a slip and fall which resulted in a broken arm, they missed it. So they had him fall again and reshot it. The fall we actually saw was staged after the fact and was actually the worst composite of footage from several takes. Mark Burnett, the evil genius behind Survivor, admits to staging minor reenactments such as body doubles used for aerial shots. Well, the narrator says he admits that as he didn’t appear on this show. I say this in the interest of clarity and also to avoid any unnecessary litigation. Other shows say they would never do that. Matt Kunitz, former Real World producer and currently the executive producer for Fear Factor, says, “If we didn’t shoot it, it didn’t happen.” He goes on to say that editing is a tool they use to help tell the story. “You might call it manipulation, but it’s a tool.” A manipulative tool? Gee, you never see any of those on reality TV. Ahem.
Next we see some Big Brother 2 footage which is real, telling a story which is not. Mike Malin tells us that we see Will and Kent conspiring about his eviction and it appears that Christa is nearby overhearing this, but she was not. The footage of her was taken another day and pasted in. Mike has no problem with it.
Critics feel that Americans know that these shows aren’t real and don’t care. That none of this is about being real and rather it is about being interesting.
April of 2003 Married By America, we see footage of Jill Nicolini and Kevin Gallagher’s non-wedding. Jill tells us that while it appeared that she dumped Kevin at the altar, that was merely editing. In fact he said no, also. Well, now we can all sleep nights knowing Jill is busy repairing her image.1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
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