Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Two Coreys

Tom Shales of The Washington Post recently excoriated The Two Coreys--the new "reality" show on A&E starring former teen stars (attention Lindsay Lohan: this is your future!), Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. You might remember them from The Lost Boys--a wickedly funny and scary teen vampire flick starring Kiefer Sutherland (in his pre-Jack Bauer days, but still a total badass), Jason Patric (most notable accomplishment--breaking up Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland's wedding) and Jamie Gertz (or more accurately, Jamie Gertz's hair).

Now I'm a big fan of Tom Shales (although based on the updated photo next to his column, Tom has taken the term "couch potato" to new heights. Or maybe new "depths." Seriously Tom, lay off the Hagen-Daaz and Pringles. It's scaring me!), but he's totally missed the point in his review:

"There's no way of knowing if any of this is genuine, of course. Much of the attempted dramatic conflict seems faked, as when Feldman's wife and Haim exchange nasty cracks, with Haim at one point derisively referring to Susie as "Yoko." Ooh, that (still) hurts. Later, Haim growls at her, "You're not part of 'The Coreys,' and you never will be." Tut-tut! Not very good manners for a house guest."

Um, newsflash for you Tom--it's all fake. Not surprising to most fans of reality TV, I'm sure. But very little is "real." In the beginning--or near the beginning, there was a PBS series called An American Family. Shot documentary style in 1971, the twelve episodes edited from 300 hours of footage chronicled the life of the Loud family from Santa Barbara, CA.

Flash forward to about 20 years later, and MTv debuts The Real World--a set-up reality show that brought together seven diverse and photogenic young people and threw them into a group living situation with cameras rolling. Obviously the deck was stacked to ensure the maximum amount of drama--and then edited to maximize that even more. Survivor, The Bachelor and a mind-numbing amount of others followed in the wake of the success of The Real World. But if it makes you feel any better--blame PBS. Damn you public television--look what you wrought!

Taking the stacking of the deck one step further from:
1. a handpicked cast of characters,
2. instigated drama and
3. extensive editing,
we come to the scripted improvisation of the new "reality" show. "Fauxality" as termed by Fake reality. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's an oxymoron! It's not even a new trend--MTv again started this bandwagon off with the "reality" (emphasis on the quotation marks!) show The Hills--which is most definitely scripted. It's doubtful any of the "cast" members are talented enough to do improv.

So take note Mr. Shales and get with the program! (Pun intended.)

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