What’s wrong with reality shows these days? Flava Flav: now he had a good thing going. The formula was simple. Gather 25 of the most vulgar women you can find into Flav’s hideous (and oddly austere, maybe he ran out of money?) mansion and make them compete to see who’s the basest and most ignorant, in other words, the right mate for Flav. A person could be reminded of eternal verities while watching this show, such as: a woman who wants to pimp out her daughter does well to flirt herself with the John, since she is probably more experienced in the ways of seduction. A person could even have wholly new insights, such as: many people no longer have any authentic personality and thus nothing to sell out; they can only act how they’ve learned from TV that people act.
But, see, the show could only convey all these deep truths because it was so slowly and carefully paced. Nothing much ever happened — a cat fight or two, some unspeakable degredation, a weirdo with a big clock around his neck wandering on and off — and there was lots time for audience reflection. Sort of like baseball, which I am watching as I type: Go Red Sox!
And the new generation of contest-type reality shows just doesn’t have the same stuff. The Next Great American Band? Might as well watch Entertainment Tonight. Boring!
*The title of this post has been corrected. I got all confused last night when the Sox scored their second run and thought I was Mimi Smartypants.