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VH1 News Presents: Reality Secrets RevealedPage 3
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The story is everything. Some shows have dozens of story editors on the payroll. When Zora Andrich needed help in the final scenes of Joe Millionaire, there was always a staffer to feed her a clever quip. They told her to put it in her own words and they would fix it up for her.
Well, I could be charming all day long, too, if I had a team of writers feeding me lines. Of all the secrets that are not really secrets being revealed tonight, this was the only one that surprised me. I take editing with several grains of salt but I was surprised they were actually writing material for her.
Matt Kunitz says that production never wrote the story beforehand, they were writing the story afterhand. I like made-up words, well, I like this one.
Joan Meyerson, Writers Guild of America says, and I quote, “They’re watching tons and tons of footage and out of this footage they are coming up with the story. That’s writing. It may not be actually putting word on paper but it’s coming up with a story and structure and that’s definitely writing.” Goodness knows I don’t want to irritate anyone representing the Writer’s Guild of America, but … what?? I always thought words were an intrinsic part of the writing process and if they officially aren’t I need to know so I can sue my college. I distinctly remember being told that writing involved words.
A lot of time is now spent showing Ruthie Alcaide, Real World: Hawaii, on her trip to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, drinking, and in various states of drunkenness setting up her interview where she states the obvious. Ruthie says that her storyline was “alcoholic” and the only time she saw herself on TV was with a drink in her hand. Amaya Brecher says they focused so much on Ruthie’s drinking that they didn’t show what a great person she was. I beg to differ. I think Ruthie came off very well in editing, one of the saner and most likable cast members, after she came back to the house from rehab.
Jerri Manthey, Survivor: The Outback/The Surreal Life says that the episode where she took on rice duty, on Survivor defined her. Everyone decided after that that she was a bitch. [Editor’s Note: I find this claim to be incredibly ironic, considering that after the show was over she posed in Playboy and talked about being a bitch!] Gervase Peterson says he wasn’t nearly as lazy as he was edited. Amaya says the lesson they all learned is that they were not people to the powers that be, they were footage.
The most prized footage of all is an emotional breakdown. They show clips of David, Real World: Seattle, in his angst over his relationship he had with a casting staffer on his season. Caroline Locatelli, The Restaurant, claims they decided she was the emotional one – the one who could be counted on to scream, yell, curse, and cry. Amaya says that every time she cried in the house it made it to air.
The savviest characters know how to keep themselves in the spotlight, once cast, and will create their own storylines. Mike Malin and Will Kirby, Big Brother 2, decided together that Will would hook up with the hottest chick in the house and Mike would get with the fun and crazy girl from Louisiana. There is a meta-awareness of knowing who you have to be in order to succeed on these shows. Jerri says that now people go on with a preconceived plan to be the villain (Jon Dalton, anyone?). “Maybe that’s good for reality TV, but is it real?” To answer her rhetorical question, yes. There are plenty of people who live out their real lives as cartoons as well, sad to say.
Jason Gay, GQ magazine, compares the earliest seasons of The Real World to later ones and states that in the beginning they didn’t know what they were doing or what to expect and now they know how to make themselves the star of their season. Tami Andersen, Real World: Los Angeles, tells us that now everyone is trying to top the season before them in outrageousness.
Ahhh… Real World: LA. Why couldn’t they find Jon Brennan to opine for this special? That would have just made my day. Or Julie or Heather from season one? Oh well… can’t have everything.
Or apparently anything. Another shot of Teck jumping naked into the pool and not only do they show it but they stutter the film so they show him several times. What did I ever do to you people?
Gideon Horowitz, The Restaurant, knew he would get airtime when he said “f*ck you” to a customer. Toni Ferrari knew she had to create something to do to get airtime and she did, she claims everyone else did also. She talks a little about how she went from one reality show to another. Apparently she played the bitch so well on Love Cruise she was to recreate the same part on Paradise Hotel. She knew what they wanted and why they hired her. On Paradise Hotel someone told her it would be a shame to lose her without getting “that great Toni moment” so she obliged. I remember how she ripped into Dave, and if she was hired to be a bitch it was brilliant casting. She owes him an apology as she was just mean. And scary. Did I mention she’s scary? Whenever they show her yelling I mute my TV.
Where were we? Oh yeah, editing. All the manipulation in the world can’t create characters out of nothing and they work with what you put out there. I remember Heather B. saying the exact same thing on a Real World reunion from a hundred years ago, hosted by Allison Stewart. That was when Tami was complaining she was edited as the bitch and Heather said they only use what you give them. Gosh, recycled Heather B. wisdom making me all misty over here. To illustrate the point of how “if you don’t do it they can’t use it against you so don’t act like a big baby after the fact,” they show the clip of Sarah Becker trying to shove Flora through the bathroom window to spy on Mike, Melissa, and Heather back in the Miami season of the Real World. The only genuinely funny moment that entire season only missing Dan Renzi musing about his violated shower. That’s a keeper.
Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, clues us in to the fact that the reality is people makes asses out of themselves. They state the obvious that if you’re a bitch you’ll be a bitch on TV and this was spoken over a shot of Jerri Manthey, and if you’re a good person you’ll be one on TV which was complimented by lovely shots of Trista Rehn. Get it? Jerri is a bitch and Trista is a good person. Just wanted to point it out in case it was too subtle. Mike Malin says he was indeed edited accurately, and this was accompanied by shots of him shaking his naked bottom in a disturbingly rhythmic fashion. I laughed. I’m 12, apparently.
Trishelle Cannatella interviews that when the season was over she was asked, by a producer, to list her three favorite moments in the house and her three worst moments in the house. She was told the favorite moments would probably not make it to air but the worst most definitely would.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
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