Monday, June 9, 2008

NYT Didn't Like She's Got the Look Either, Contestant Lying Aside

I've already written about the obvious problem TV Land's new show She's Got the Look has with a lying contestant, and looking around the web I see that others also caught that Paula Thomas on that show is the same Paula who also appeared on a SciFi Channel reality show and one way or another is lying about her age. But they don't know this over at Jezebel, where the post said "old is the new plus size" and they make fun of the women on She's Got the Look (Ugh!).

I discovered at Jezebel, however, that New York Times reviewer Mike Hale sort of hates SGTL.

“She’s Got the Look” demonstrates a lack of progress on two fronts: feminism and, more crucial to the show’s future, development of the reality-competition format.

Everything about this new series on TV Land feels second- or third- or 12th-hand, stamped from a template that was locked in somewhere between the first seasons of “America’s Next Top Model” and “Top Chef.” Three-judge panel (campy, scary, female). Poker-faced host. Funny-sad auditions. An initial “challenge” with a jealous-making prize followed by an elimination round with a nasty catchphrase. (NYT review)

Like I said, part of the reason SGLT annoys me is that it tries to come off as being different when it's more of the same, complete with fakery. Hale sees clearly that Paula is there for a reason as I've also suggested, and he also thinks it's to push drama. Nevertheless, he doesn't seem to know she's possibly a plant and definitely not authentic.

In Episode 2, Paula, an inked and ripped 37-year-old who’s the token outsider, has a meltdown worthy of “The Real World,” after which several of the show’s good girls ask, What was that all about?

Paula’s complaint is that “life stories” ought to count for more than beauty. We know where that argument will take her, and it’s not the pages of Self magazine. But combined with her truly amazing cheekbones, it might get her to Episode 3. (NYT)

We'll see how far this new reality show's producers let the Paula show go on because they've got to know she's lying about her age as well as this claim that she's never been photographed by professional photographers.

Again, the short take on why the show is distasteful:

Everyone knows by now that there's nothing real about reality shows. They're scripted to a certain extent and purgatory for wannabe actors/actresses. The people behind the shows probably chuckle knowing that some of their viewers, like some people who watch "professional" wrestling, believe every moment is true to life. Well, that's okay. It's entertainment, after all.

However, this Paula Thomas thing on She's Got the Look is a case of plain old fraud. To promote a show as featuring everyday women who are over 35 and who have not broken into the entertainment industry yet or who have left the industry while actually presenting reality show regulars or working actresses to the audience rips off viewers. To take a serious issue like the beauty of older women not being appreciated in this society and the self-esteem issues of older women and pimp that is despicable. (revelation post)
I guess TV producers tend to believe women are gullible, even some female TV producers. From NYT, here are the names: It's an Allison Grodner production for TV Land. Keith Cox and Sal Maniaci, executive producers for TV Land; Sean Patterson, executive producer for Wilhelmina. Ahh, only one woman among them.

Wilhelmina is the modeling company with which the winner hopes to sign, and this is not the first time the agency has been associated with a scam.

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ByJane said...

This is, I think, a case of sloppy casting by dumb producers. I noticed the same on the last go-round of Big Brother, the one where they pushed to get the show on the air because of the writer's strike. So they cast a bunch of people from the industry who couldn't act their way out of a paper bag, much less portray a contestant realistically (if that makes sense--well, I know what I mean!). I watched one episode and dumped the show for the rest of the season. The producers seem to think that we won't know the difference. Their mistake. Also, there seems to be an increasingly smaller pool of contestants for reality shows because some of them are appearing on more than one.

Vérité Parlant said...

Haha! A smaller pool of contestants.

The pool's also shrinking, I suspect, because people who have real lives are realizing they don't want them ruined by a reality TV show.