Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1014: TV Tidbits


The ABC network is ordering an American version of a European reality TV format where F-List celebrities work on their impressions of musical legends with the help of elaborate make-up and costumes.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see Gary Busey do Sammy Davis Jr. 


Momentum Entertainment Group, a production company, which was started by a marketing company, has restructured their company and is getting out of the reality TV business in favour of scripted shows

Now normally a marketing company would go feet first into reality TV because it's cheap, it's easy, and wide open for less than subtle product placement. This dumping of reality TV by the people who would normally rush to it arms flailing in anticipation says a lot.


Redneck is all the rage in what I call "slice of life" reality TV. Shows like Duck Dynasty, American Hoggers, Swamp People, and others are kicking butt in the ratings on cable. Some are theorizing that elitism plays a part in the popularity of these shows, saying that they are watched by two types of people, those who come from that world, and those who like to mock the people from that world.

Now I won't deny that the whole schadenfreude element plays a part in the viewership of some shows, like Buckwild, and Honey Boo-Boo, but if you look deep, those shows, despite the media attention, are probably not the most watched, even among the redneck shows.

The most watched shows are the ones I cited at the beginning of this piece, and I've watched some of them irregularly, and Swamp People pretty regularly. I am neither of the "redneck world" nor do I care to mock them. I watch because of these reasons, and I think a lot of people share them:

  1. I'm fascinated by people that thrive in an environment where I would either end up as gator-scat or run away screaming like the soft suburban girly-man that I am within an hour of my arrival.
  2. The people on the show are not stupid. They possess skills and knowledge that I do not have, and would have a hard time learning. They are survivors and I'll be fleeing to redneck country when the zombies start marching down main street.
  3. There's a great sincerity with these so-called rednecks. Their family lives seem truly real as opposed to the carefully scripted and edited melodramas found on MTV and the E! Network. When something funny happens, it's a real funny event, not something staged because the focus groups told the network's marketing people that humour sells shoes.
  4. Rednecks seem to be the only people in America that are allowed to have fun these days.
That's what I think, let me know what you think in the comments.

There is no reason for this picture other than it makes me laugh.


  1. Rainforest Giant here,

    My family is, unsurprisingly, what some people refer to as 'redneck'. We are actually more rural living folks but from the outside the differences are less visible. Anywho, we do watch some of those shows, we know people on some of those shows(I won't say which) and we find the shows fun to watch.

    They are not Masterpiece Theatre but they don't stink out loud either. We recognize when the producers have set something up often because we know what would really happen if a situation like the one on the screen were to go down.

    That's okay too because sometimes life needs a little 'umph' added. Nobody wants to watch me puttering around the giant stump picking huckleberries all day and combing my fur.

    Totally off topic, but it looks like Paramount did not take your advice about Khan in the new Star Trek. It looks like JJ pulled one of his more bonehead moves. Why pick pasty faced and british when you can go with any one of hundreds of Bollywood stars that can speak nicely exotic English and look like a Sikh prince?

    Rainforest Giant
    P.S. Abrams is a tool and his publicity team is only slightly less full of bullshit that the love child of 'Pravda' and 'Weekly World News'.

  2. This whole skein of shows was probably kicked off by Dirty Jobs, which at the time a rare show that honored people who worked hard doing weird and often dangerous jobs. In the increasingly effete urban / suburban settings many of us know, I think there's a genuine respect for such folks, and that this demographic is much, much larger than the one snidely mocking them. (And even those people must know these people have a seriousness of purpose that they don't.)

    For the half of Americans who attend church every week and own guns (among other traits disdained by most TV executives), these are shows that finally looks like America.