April 07, 2004

Let's Give EW a Second Chance, Shall We?

BECAUSE OUR MIDDLE NAME IS IRONY*, we have again found ourselves in the position of doing something we previously had assured others we would never do. In the past, this tendency of ours has led to embarrassing situations, such as telling our friends we were moving to Los Angeles two months after vowing we would rather eat glass than do such a thing.

You would think we would have learned by now -- but thanks to Stephen Silver, who linked to this really great article about the 34th season of MTV's "The Real World," we find ourself in this position yet again. As it turns out, Entertainment Weekly hit the frickin' nail on the head:

"Mind you, I don't think that someone with Frankie's problems should be kept off the airwaves. In the right hands, a documentary on Frankie could be very sad, touching, and enlightening. But after this show has spent the past few months fetishizing dumb people drinking, humping, and generally being irresponsible, then any random, serious Life Lesson moment seems comically discordant.

Especially when it's such a one-shot: As the coming-attraction segment showed, next week we're going to go right back to seeing Brad dry-hump some girl while the rest of the roommates peek into his room. It's like splicing an afterschool special into the middle of a ''Girls Gone Wild'' marathon. ''Show us your boobs! Show us your boobs! Hey, wait, that girl's got bulimia, and she needs therapy. But hey, girl behind the girl with bulimia, show us YOUR boobs!''

Oh, and it continues:

"Here's a thought: Why not cast one of the other 400,000 kids lined up at the door with a slightly less serious problem. Like, say, just being an ordinary idiot? I assume that when Brad showed up for an audition, he brought a friend who wanted to see how the producers could shrink Brad to fit him in a TV: Why not cast that friend?

I'm not saying ''The Real World'' can't be a force for good. How about this? Before every episode, have Drew Pinsky appear and gravely warn: ''Lazy-ass kids who lack any kind of work ethic are a serious problem. Hopefully tonight's episode will raise awareness of the terrible epidemic of tragic self-absorption.'' Then again, MTV can't risk possibly solving that epidemic: it would mean the end of ''The Real World'' forever."

Attention Entertainment Weekly editors: if you keep this up, we might just buy a subscription for The Rant.

* Our middle name is not actually Irony, Danger, The Intrepid, or any other sobriquet. It is Biblical, however.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at April 7, 2004 11:21 PM | TrackBack