look. usually i only watch reality tv ironically, as a specific example of the destruction of culture and rationality to get riled up and simultaneous entertained about. but yesterday i discovered the paper. it’s this new mtv reality show which right off should be a sign that it is going to take place in hollywood and it is going to make you want to vomit after every meal. but here’s the twist: it doesn’t. instead it follows these high school seniors around while they work on the school paper. these kids are kind of inherently uncool, i mean they WORK FOR THE PAPER, they send text messages that say “will you be my girlfriend?”and then talk shit about each other over pizza. it’s like the opposite of the hills where “conflict” involves halfheartedly yelling at enemies-for-financial-reasons in bars with one syllable names. this shit is high school. and best is a girl, kind of obnoxious yeah but smart and resourceful and insanely entertaining, who basically is constantly getting sort of the beat down from the “cool” kids in the paper.
now slate calls amanda a “wonderful new villian” which is diction i have to disagree with, though a sentiment i appreciate. she isn’t a villain. she’s an amazing example of a real interesting high school girl who has yet to be completely de-personality-ed by the dominant paradigm loving alcoholic embarrassments that are the rest of her newspaper editors.
even if she does get a nose job in the second episode.
holy shit this show is great.
now of course, to fully embrace the paper you are going to have to accept that maybe the reality tv genre is coming into its own. the novel was not always considered an acceptable form of literature. think of that if it helps. comics are often marginalized. and clearly there is some actual skill involved with good reality programming. editing for example. which is the main thing in most television and movies anyway. also there is the mtv problem. mtv hasn’t been respectable for years. and the sad truth is that because this show is unscripted, if it gains popularity there is no possible way that amanda will retain her charm. the other kids won’t be able to stay so openly hostile. the realism will be gone. though of course, this would happen when they got to college anyway, so no big loss. and seeing as so far in episode 3 we are in football season, i’m assuming the show is mainly shot already, so fame shouldn’t be a factor here.
yes reality tv is probably permanently ruining these precious young lives for our enjoyment. how long before that bitch giana is smoking crack with amy winehouse? how long before closeted dan hits the road with dustin diamond? but let’s be honest. there are too many people anyway! and this show, instead of exalting skinny entitled girls and trying to convince us to buy products to be like them, puts a mirror up to the boring, average inertia that tries to break down creativity and intelligence and sparkly-ness in general. so watch the paper. this time by submitting you are actually ushering in change. it ‘ll be just like a john mayer song, only realer.