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a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Entries in reality tv (4)


    Unfiltered Thoughts: My TV Show

    I've long thought of concepts & topics that would make great tv shows. It seems like all that's on are shows about detectives. And lawyers. Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, CSI, CSI: Miami, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Bones, Cold Case, Covert Affairs, In Plain Sight....I could keep going, but you get the idea. There's so few original series on. The ones that are on are excellent, but they're few and far between. 

    I have so many ideas floating around in my noggin for distinctive comedy series, but I just don't have the time to develop and write them. So, until my personal intern comes on board, if you have time, please feel free to take these and run with them so I can watch something other than a GOD AWFUL iteration of Project Runway (All Stars, I'm looking at you) that I am forced to watch because there are no seasons of Top Chef or Project Runway airing right now. For years, the best idea I've had that's been simmering is a show about the writer's room at a show. Sure, you could say that's what 30 Rock is, but 30 Rock isn't about the writing. Mine would focus on the battles between different writers, trying to keep their ideas and bits off the cutting room floor, where they go to get inspiration when they've got writer's block, what they do with their days during a writer's strike, that kind of thing. 

    Today I had an idea for an offshoot of that, which I think could be at least as good, if not better. A show focusing on the behind-the-scenes production of a (shitty) "reality" show. The decisions that get made as far as which contestants get saved from elimination because they're great for character development and production value, the story arcs that the producers create and manipulate over a season, the struggles to come up with ever more ridiculous (and view-worthy) stunts for the contestants...

    Get on that, would ya? Cuz I just don't have the time.


    Unfiltered Thoughts: Food Network's Truck Race

    On last night's episode of the Great Food Truck Race, contestants were given no startup funds, and had to hit up local businesses in Denver to get them to front them the cash they'd need to make their food. The way the footage was packaged, it appeared that folks just wandered up to restauranteurs, asked for $500, and the restauranteurs instantly obliged.

    So I think I'll pay some kids to follow me around with a camera, wander into local businesses, tell them I'm in a reality tv show competition, ask for $500, and see what happens.



    In Which The Soup Informs My Reality TV Viewing

    I have always been a fan of The Soup, and watched it for its pure comedy. But it's just dawned on me that I could be using it as a tool as well. I propose an inverse relationship: The less frequently a show's clips appear on The Soup, the more frequently I should probably be watching it. 


    Unfiltered Thoughts: Reality TV

    Do people get paid to analyze tv? I mean, clearly, tv critics do, but there can’t be many openings in that field. I wonder because I devote a lot of thought and analysis to tv. The shows, the ads, the trends, they all fascinate me. 

    I find that as my days day off run few and far between, they descend into nothing more than sleep and lazing in front of the tv. I’ve been drained of the energy and ability to do much of anything besides watch tv and watch the clock turn to happy hour. It’s the escapism that tv offers -- when I have so little time to relax and can’t get away, it helps transport me to somewhere else, even if just for a while. Maybe it’s the rum talking, but I don’t think tv is bad. I think bad tv is awesome.

    Specifically bad reality tv. There is just something about watching the trainwreck of undeserving confidence propel tone deaf teens to trying out for American Idol or watching teams self-destruct and implode in front of millions on The Amazing Race. I like a lot about this sort of crap. It helps my too-tired-to-think self suppress my thinking, overanalytical, doubting self. I get wrapped up in looking at the background details -- the marketing of a show, how the producers manipulate the contestants, or the various personalities that get cast as contestants, hosts, and judges. People say things like “It’s not real” with respect to reality tv. DUH! I never was under the impression that Laguna Beach was an unscripted snapshot of real teenage life or that the contestants on Project Runway don’t deliberately manufacture their personas to market themselves for viewer consumption. I watch it because it isn’t real, because I am fascinated by how these shows are cast, how the weekly contests are rigged to keep on talentless contestants simply because they provide high entertainment value.