Monday, April 20, 2009

A Closer Look at Last Night's Reality TV

I don’t really watch that much reality television… okay, yes, I watch some, but I watch way less, I think, than the average television junkie. Anyway, Sunday night is quickly becoming my favorite night of reality television (Top Gear being on hiatus). Last night featured a fantastic set of fights, one on NBC, the other on CBS.

First up, there was The Celebrity Apprentice, with the ongoing feud between Joan and Melissa Rivers on one side and Annie Duke on the other. Obviously Melissa and Joan shouldn’t be working together against anyone as they’re still on opposite sides, but you have to almost forgive them as Annie Duke is kind of a wretched human being.

I’m not quite sure why she rubs me the wrong way, but she does. She’s even made Melissa seem like a rational, competent, person, and that’s saying something. Every time Annie opens her mouth something more and more ridiculous comes out of it. Last night she actually put forth the idea that she was the perfect woman for, among other reasons, being able to give a great “bleep-job.” I think we all know what she was saying before the show bleeped her out.

Think of the children! This woman has four kids, the eldest a teenager. This child could very easily be watching mom on TV. I ask you, if you were watching your parents on national television would you want to hear that? Think of the psychiatry bills involved.

Joan and Melissa have ended up going after Annie full force. Joan still seems to have a problem with Clint Black, but she’s put that on the back burner in order to take down Annie Duke.

Normally I would say that Joan didn’t stand a chance -- Trump wants as the winner the person who raises the most cash, and Annie has done a great job thus far of doing that. However, Trump likes Joan, possibly more than he likes Annie, and if he wants, Trump will find a way to make sure Annie gets fired. After all, Joan ought to have been fired last night for managing her team poorly and she wasn’t only because Trump likes her. That just might give her a leg up on Annie, that is, if Annie’s team ever loses again.

Then there was The Amazing Race, where Jen and Luke bumped into each other at a clue box, which led them to bumping into each other again at another clue box, which led them to yelling at each other on the mat. Now, the whole thing started innocently enough -- it was definitely an accident that they ran into each other the first time, but it was less of an accident the second time (I think they both wanted it to happen). It was one of those “heat of the moment” things that got made that much worse when Lakisha smiled and giggled when Luke signed that it was his turn to “talk” at the Pit Stop when Phil asked what had happened.

Obviously, the ultimate question here is whether Lakisha was laughing at the notion of a deaf person “talking” or whether she was amused by the situation and fight or just trying to cut the tension. Frankly, I don’t know. We don’t know enough about Lakisha, we don’t know enough about her history, and we certainly don’t know what the show didn’t show us. We don’t know if anything was edited out or certain camera angles not shown which put the whole thing in a different light. Lakisha certainly didn’t come out looking good, but that doesn’t make her guilty.

I have to wonder what happens next week on the show. Does the fight continue in other ways? How does the animosity -- and I have to believe animosity will remain -- affect the way the race is run?

See, two shows, two different fights, two-and-a-half hours of pretty good television. Yes, I know that the shows aired for a total of three hours, but let’s face it, some judicious cutting and it could easily have found its way to 90 minutes or less. I still tend to prefer scripted to unscripted stuff, but not all unscripted television is bad.

And, yes, I watched Desperate Housewives too, but I can't even discuss it. The Wisteria Lane women drove Edie's ashes up to her son and then almost forgot to give him the ashes. Right... sure... that's some great scripting!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AT first I thought you must be friend of Joan's... you are DEFINITELY in the minority of people who think Annie looks bad on the show. Joan is completely out of her mind and only remains on the show because of the drama with Annie. Joan has consistently made incorrect judgement calls and mistakes while Annie's instincts have been correct in every situation. Obviously Trump wants two things: money raised (Annie, Clint) and good television (Joan & Melissa, Clint, Annie).