I know. You don’t own a TV. I get it. You’re too fucking smart and read too many books to waste your time ever watching some reality show on MTV. Well, while you’re thumbing through the dictionary learning words and shit, I’m at home being a fucking sociologist! That’s right…I’m watching TV as a means to learn about my fellow man.
Over the last few months, I gotta hand it to MTV. They’ve made not one, but THREE new shows that I, as a full grown male adult, can enjoy on some bizarre level.
It’s been a long time since this has happened. After years of teen moms and sweet 16’s, it would appear they have finally hit the nail on the head. Well, maybe that’s going overboard. Lemme rephrase that. It would appear they have turned over some stones and found something of slight worth.
Because I’m assuming you are all too good to watch MTV cause you’re too busy eating gluten free everything and doing yoga, allow me to explain these three shows I’m speaking of. Perhaps I can even sway you to let your brain rest for a bit and just enjoy some good old , mind numbing tv. Doesn’t that sound nice? Sure it does.
Think of these like reviews , if you will…Why not?
Catfish is a show based on a documentary about a dude who finds out his online relationship is totally made up. He does detective work and actually meets the person he had been talking to all this time, only to find out she was not who she claimed to me. Sound familiar? Considering what’s going on with that Manti te’o guy right now, this topic is more relative than it’s ever been. Basically, it’s an expose on the lengths people will go and reasons people lie on the internet.
The premise of the TV show is to help people involved in questionable internet love webs see who the real person is behind the curtain. Turns out, 9 out of 10 times , The wizard of Oz is just some lonely, insecure and morbidly obese person. For this reason, I prefer to call this show “Fatfish”.
The host, Nev Shulman, is an affable jew that every white girl loves. He’s so kind and understanding that it almost makes you think he can’t be serious. His sympathy knows no bounds. He entertains the dreams of the delusional like few other before him. They will be sitting there, telling him their story about how they met this dude online four years ago and have never spoken or met him even thoughh he lives 2 towns over and Nev will nod his head with a look in his eyes that reads “I know, he’s THE ONE”. Even after the story is told and Nev and his co-host start doing research on this person (which always turns up faulty info and clearly dismantles the dreams of this person even before they have a chance to meet their “soul mate”), Nev still manages to keep a straight face and blow just enough smoke up their asses in order for the pay off…the face to face meeting between the two internet lovers.
I always watch this show with my girl and she’s just waiting for that one episode where things work out. Where the person on the other end of the relationship is actually who they say they are. But it will never happen. Why? Because that’s how these things work. There is no logical reason to NOT ever speak, skype, send new pics or meet someone you are involved with. I’m not just talking dick pics either. I’m talking basic interaction. So, if it’s been years of telling someone you love them over facebook messages but never , ever meeting that person? You best believe the person on the other side of that screen is hiding something huge, be it a belly, or a tucked in penis.
Of the three shows, this one is easily the best in all senses of the word. It’s actually riveting in a non-ironic way. It’s fucked up enough to appeal to the anti-social folks out there and it’s got a documentary angle to it that lends itself to the show actually being put together well. Sure, Nev is definitely exploiting these people under the guise of being the most caring and sensitive man on the planet but I’d argue it’s for a better cause. These are people that need to be smacked into reality cause they obviously can’t grasp life off the internet. This show is a realistic look at the world we live in right now, sitting behind our computers and trusting everything a little too much. This is a show I’d even tell my mom to watch. The other two…not so much…
It’s redneck jersey shore. That’s all it is. I could go into a long winded description of it but what’s the point?
However, before you write it off, let’s not forget that Jersey shore was once an awesome show. It was awesome cause it was a reality show where “real” shit went down. By “real” I don’t mean “actual” I just mean rugged. People fucked. People fought. People got alcohol poisoning. The difference between “Buckwild” and “Jersey shore” is subtle. While Jersey Shore followed the lives of a bunch of guido’s in their early/mid 20’s trolling for pussy in the world’s corniest beach town, Buckwild is a hair younger and they give less of a fuck. These are kids who I’m not even 100% sure are the legal drinking age yet. Some of them look in their late teens. All they do is get fucked up and do redneck shit. Redneck shit is that happy medium between hoodrat shit and an episode of Jackass. No gym, tan or laundry here. These half witted yokels ride mud buggies during the day and then get obliterated at night to entertaining results. They’re like a cast of Maury show rejects with no adult supervision what so ever. I’ve often compared pitbulls to dumb frat boys. This show is like if you took a whole kennel of untrained pitbulls and gave the jello shots. It’s mayhem. Not to mention a few of these dudes are so southern they need subtitles when they talk. That’s always a good time.
I recommend this show to people who really want to take a break from thinking. It is the mindless time waster you’ve been craving. It’s never dark or deep…it’s just dumb motherfuckers being dumb while doing dumb shit. It may lead to you becoming sterile but it’s pretty harmless. Also, If it lasts more than 2 seasons I’ll be fucking shocked.
This one is special cause I can’t help but think of the pitch to get this show made…
Pitch guy:Okay, so there’s the neighborhood in upper Manhattan called “Washington heights”. It’s full of “flava” and drama, so I’m told. I’m thinking we could make a reality show…Kinda like “The hills” but in the hood.
MTV Exec:Go on…
Pitch guy: So, this neighborhood is where all the dominicans live…
MTV Exec: Wait…What’s a “dominican”?
Pitch guy: It’s like a puerto rican I think, I dunno…I’ll have my people look into that detail.
MTV:Very good, But how are we gonna sell this show to a country that barely knows what puerto ricans are? I mean, you realize that the east coast is only a small part of the country…
Pitch guy: No, I get that. But what if we take these dominicans and their neighborhood and give it the MTV treatment? Make it look glamorous? Sure, they live in 2 bedroom apartments with their extended families in buildings where people piss in elevators…but we can make them look fabulous. Like have them eating at all these hip restaurants…
MTV guy: Are you sure they have those up there?
Pitch guy: No, but I figure if we just make up some outside seating at whatever diner they live near, it’ll look fancy enough.
MTV guy: Good point. But…I dunno…how is the rest of the country going to relate to this tiny sub-culture? we need something…something…umm…white?
Pitch guy: I hear you loud and clear. We’ve already got a misplaced white girl lined up. We’re thinking that she will be the connecting link between these dominicans and all the people watching the show who never even knew that was a race of people.
MTV guy: Excellent. Also, they’re gonna need to have dream, aspirations and shit like that.
Pitch guy: For sure. We got it all mapped out. We got a rapper, a poet, an artist , a fashion designer and a baseball player…maybe even one wants to be an actor? We’ll see.
MTV guy: Perfect! oh, just one thing, no blunt smoking! I wanna keep this positive. Kinda like how we never showed the girls on “The hills” doing coke and sucking dick. Also, I wanna keep the brown bagged 40’s and them saying “nigga” to a minimum.
Pitch guy: No problem. We can fix all that in editing.
And, from there, this show was born.
Watching this show is pure bliss for me because it’s such amazing bullshit. Sure, these kids may be real but the world they’ve (the shows creators) created to be Washington Heights is another story. It looks more like Soho heights. I legit feel bad for the people who live there now cause it is indeed one of the last remaining real neighborhoods in Manhattan and it’s about to get over run with stupid white people who saw a tv show and moved to NYC. Sure, some gentrification has happened over the years but it’s maintained it’s balance better than most hoods have. That is, until now. This show is like an attack on the heights authenticity. Much like how “Sex in the city” turned my downtown neighborhood into a a shell of it’s former self, this show could very well be the beginning of the end of Washington Heights as we know it. There is no doubt in my mind, hundreds of people from all over the country , who had never even knew of this area existing have light bulbs going off in their heads thinking “that place looks like somewhere i could move!”. After all, everyone know that, while Brooklyn is the place to be, the price is high to live there. Why not move to the heights? Well, there are many reasons for your typical midwest white to not move there but they sure as hell can’t tell from this show. Let the gentrification begin.
Now , reading this, you’re probably thinking “Why the fuck are you watching this shit then?” and it’s a justified question. I guess cause I can’t take my eyes off of it. It’s not quite a car crash (though that girl reading her spoken word poem “Uptown, my uptown” was one of the more hilarious/cringeworthy things I’ve seen in a long time) but it’s fascinating to me. I like to watch for small flares of the real Washington Heights to pop out. Amidst this fantasized version of 175th street and
Fort Washington ave, the fact is they are still in the hood. It’s not the scariest neighborhood on any level but it’s still the hood. Yet, somehow, they manage to minimize those realities and make it look like a rustic beach town. But when those hood elements pop? It feels good, man. Cause really, an actual real reality show about Washington Heights would be incredible.
Beyond all that, it should also be noted that a good amount of people on this show are actually likable. As corny as the spoken word poet girl is, she’s very sweet. The hipster art nerd dude seems like he belongs in Williamsburg but he’s nice enough. Even the lauren conrad of the show, a rapper named “Autobon” , is even somewhat likable. That may not make people want to watch the show but it something different than most MTV reality shows. But, really, when all else fail, you can’t go wrong with a hood cat fight…
This show is for the soap opera reality show types. The people who watched Laguna beach and The hills. Whether or not those same people will want to watch a show about a small subculture of latino’s in NYC remains to be seen but, really, the plots point remain the same.