Tag Archives: MTV

Miley, Ben, & Bryan: It’s Not a Sitcom, Just Rob Ranting

There have been three popular subjects circulating the interwebz recently, pertaining to the Entertainment industry that I’d like to share my thoughts on. Feel free to agree or disagree with me on any or all of them in the comments section. I encourage it.

Subject One: Miley Cyrus’ “performance” at the MTV Video Music Awards

Don't care.

Don’t care.

I have yet to view this spectacle and don’t ever plan to. I’m treating this like Titanic – I don’t see the point in wasting my time watching this disaster. I know it happened, I’ve heard about it from everyone, and I’m just not interested. Another former Disney star with less-than-mediocre talent makes a spectacle of herself to gain media attention by doing something shocking and/or appalling.

Big freaking deal! This has happened before, it will happen again. And as long as people continue to make a big deal about it, things like this will continue to happen. The only reason I’m writing about it is in hopes to get hits from Google searches on the topic. It’s shameless, I know, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I think we should all make a pact to just ignore these little trollops like Miley and their antics and let them fade away into obscurity until they overdose by themselves in some seedy motel room a few years down the road. A bit bleak but necessary.

Honestly, I’m more shocked that people are in an uproar by something the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus did than anything. She was raised by Billy Ray Cyrus and the Disney Channel for crying out loud! Two of the worst parents ever. The man exploited his minimally-talented daughter for fame and profit. Don’t give me that crap about how she wanted to be a star like daddy and he wanted to help her realize her dream. He wanted back in the spotlight and this was his way to do it.

Subject Two: Ben Affleck cast as Batman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel  

This may have actually been the face I made when I read the Kevin Smith quote.

This may have actually been the face I made when I read the Kevin Smith quote.

I’ve already expressed my disdain for this casting choice – Ahem. But that was before I heard what Kevin Smith had to say on the subject,

“This dude has loved Batman going as far back as I can remember. He only did f***ing Daredevil because he loved Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. He’s like, ‘They’re never going to make another Batman,’ because this was after Batman had nipples and s*** like that. So he was like, ‘Daredevil’s cool, and Miller wrote him as well.’ So he liked the character, but it was always rooted in Batman.” [via: comicbookmovie.com].

I’m not saying my opinion has changed, I still think Josh Brolin should’ve been cast – Ahem, but I have a little sliver of hope now. A little. I’m gonna give the guy a chance, even more so after Kevin Smith’s reassuring words, but he’s still gonna have to have to impress the hell out of a lot of people.

 

Subject Three: The possibility of Bryan Cranston playing Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel

It could work.

It could work.

I’m at odds with this rumor. On one hand, I really like the idea. Cranston is a phenomenal actor with incredible range and I think he would make an amazing Lex Luthor. As proven from his starring role on Breaking Bad, he play the super-intelligent, menacing, conniving villain quite well. On the other hand, he’s 57. He’s a bit too old for the part if WB is planning on signing him to a six to ten picture deal. Someone younger and equally talented (Billy Zane) might be a better casting option. Not Mark Strong though. I like him, but he’s Sinestro. I’m torn.

Hopefully WB will announce something soon so we can all stop wondering and start ranting and raving about how good or bad of a choice they made. However, if they decided not to cast him as Luthor and cast him as Commissioner Gordon instead, I wouldn’t complain.

What are your thoughts on any or all of these three subjects? Leave your responses in the comments section.

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The Reality TV Trap (or Why We Can’t Look Away From a Train Wreck)

Since The Real World first debuted on MTV back in 1992, reality TV has been a rash on the rear end of television that we can never seem to medicate enough to clear up. By this point, it’s become a full on plague that is beyond quarantine in need of some serious cleansing fire. But what is it about this viral infection of modern television that keeps so hooked on it that we never take our medicine?

I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I’ve never watched reality TV. Many times I have found myself watching more reality TV than I should. There’s some that I’m not ashamed of (Battle for Ozzfest, King of the Nerds, Hardcore Pawn) and some I’m not proud of at all (Teen Mom 2, Honey Boo Boo, Real World). I would like to note that I’ve seen only one episode of Honey Boo Boo and that was enough for me. That show is the epitome of “train wreck television.”

For myself, as well as for many others, television is a form of escape. A way to take yourself out of your head and enter a whole new world and go on exciting new adventures but reality TV takes away the magic of it all. It takes you out of your normal, everyday life and puts you into a different person’s completely screwed up life while the show you why they’re screwed up week after week. All you can do is sit and watch in disbelief, thinking to yourself “How can one person be that messed up?” and never really leaving you with a definitive answer.

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Take for example any season of The Real World. MTV had the bright idea to put a bunch of strangers in a house together, all with different backgrounds and beliefs, add copious amounts of alcohol, and see what happened. What happened was a lot of sex, drama, and fighting, which is what sells on most, if not all, networks. Many others saw the potential of the format and followed suit. Survivor, The Bachelor, Big Brother, Jersey Shore, Rock of Love, Sister Wives, and hundreds more quickly crowded the airwaves and engrossed many unsuspecting viewers. Ratings soared, unwanted trends took hold of the population, and the quality of television sunk to a new low point.

Networks found it was easier to install cameras in a house and/or follow people around and film their “lives” than it was to hire actors, build sets, make costumes, write scripts, and do all the other things it takes to make a scripted television show. It was also cheaper, which meant if the show was a success and they could sell the hell out of it, they made a lot more money. But is it really worth it?

MTV is a perfect example of the real “cost” of reality TV. MTV was a groundbreaking network back in its day, the first to introduce music videos to the public. A new format for music artists to be seen as well as heard. Seasoned artists as well as up-and-comers used MTV to boost album sales and get their names, faces, and music out to more people than radio ever could. MTV was responsible for launching the careers of countless numbers of artists but nowadays, viewers struggle to find a music video on their channel and all because of reality TV. And by eliminating music videos from their programming and replacing them with reality TV shows, they’ve managed to alienate a large number of their viewers only to replace them with a new flock of younger viewers. Still the same name but not the same MTV.

Is this the solution we need?

Is this the solution we need?

TLC, Bravo, and many other networks have all started following MTV’s example and are quickly on their way to leaving behind the programming themes they began with in order to bring in higher ratings and rake in the bigger bucks. So what is it that draws people in and keeps them watching these shows? One reasons is the entertainment value, slight as it may be. Viewers get some form of enjoyment watching the subjects of the shows making complete fools of themselves in whatever they may do. The more of an idiot the subject appears to be, the more the viewers will watch. Another reason would be that the shows make the viewers feel better about themselves. No matter how screwed up the subject of the show is, the viewer feels that they are nowhere near as screwed up as them. It makes them feel as though their problems aren’t as bad as they thought they might be. In some cases, the viewer might even connect with the subjects of the shows. Depending on the topic of the show, the viewer may be able to form some sort of bond and that’s what keeps them hooked. So where scripted television can be an escape for viewers by taking them into a new, fantasy world that they aren’t accustom to, reality tv is more of a grounded escape that connects them to somewhat realistic people.

But is that slight sense of a connection worth the degradation of quality television? Personally, I say no. While I have found a few reality shows that are actually worth watching, I would much rather be watching scripted television. I enjoy the characters and their adventures and lives and the escape that comes with the show. I enjoy losing myself in the story of the show. I can’t do that with a reality show. Most of what I get is anger and frustration from seeing how stupid some of the subjects can be. More often than not common sense is lost on these people and that’s what frustrates me most. If networks were to cancel all reality tv tomorrow, I wouldn’t shed a tear and I think the quantity of quality scripted television would greatly improve. The world might end up being a slightly better place because of it.

What are you thoughts on reality tv?

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