Thursday, August 5, 2010

ready your pants, more dc schmreality is here...

In my non-anticipation for tonight's premiere of The Real Housewives of DC McLean and Bethesda, which I confess I will not be watching because, quite frankly, I have better things to do, I came across this article this morning from the Washington City Paper. It very aptly, albeit a little too über-loquaciously (for the record, I think the word "schadenfreude" should only be allowed once per article; on another note -- this time to myself -- I think the word "über-loquaciously" probably shouldn't be used at all...), explains why I'm not excited:

"In an ordinary season, the exposed social climbing would make for some nice reality world schadenfreude, the stuff Real Housewives always trades in. But the problem for the D.C. version is that the reality humiliations wind up trashing the show’s basic promise. In that single, drunken hair-care exchange, [Mary Schmidt] Amons—neither a D.C. resident nor a friend of the Obamas nor a particularly powerful person—utterly undercuts the show's D.C.-centric opening monologue, in which a fellow housewife purrs, 'The currency here is proximity to power.'

By the time she's done, it's clear that the buskers in Farragut Square are closer to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. than is Amons.

Welcome to reality TV's Washington: Wealthy women with Newsweek-grade opinions waxing soporific on the existential significance of a black president on Real Housewives; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dicing things up on Top Chef; twentysomethings pining progressive on the Real World. And absolutely everyone—except maybe Tareq and Michaele Salahi [the White House crashers set to be on Real Housewives]—boring the pants off their viewers."


And while my pants might already be off for reasons other than boredom (exposed butt is natural air-conditioning!), I agree that if they weren't, the Real Housewives would certainly drive them to come off...

Wait. That doesn't sound right. In what backwards world did that overused saying "to bore the pants off someone" start? Because in my experience pants usually get removed when something really f*cking exciting is happening, not the other way around. When I'm bored, I actually put pants on, which is what I did at the beginning of last night's episode of Top Chef. However, when José Andrés came out I quickly removed them.

Bare ass = I likes it.

What I don't like, though, is exactly what Mike Riggs, the author of the above-quoted article, points out, and that is that for some reason television producers actually think government bureaucracy is the most interesting part of this city. He writes:

"Sometime in those heady days of fall, 2008, TV producers decided that the buzz surrounding the cool young president-elect meant our pokey old nation's capital was getting hipper and more cosmopolitan. There's some truth to that generalization, though the connection to Obama is tenuous at best. But now, two years and two high-profile reality flops later, it's clear that there's another local truth that the burgeoning population of D.C.-oriented reality producers have yet to figure out: Washington, D.C., is actually Washington and D.C. The latter features a lifestyle similar to that of other reality-worthy cities. But the former—with its white marble and its mysterious corridors of powers—is what these shows try to present.

It's a classic bait-and-switch. In reality D.C., everyone who steps into a Cadillac Escalade might wind up sharing canapés with Al Franken at a reception for the Finnish finance minister. In real D.C., even Kal Penn-caliber celebs find themselves balanced out by slack-jawed number crunchers, dumpy lobbyists, and disillusioned activists hustling opaque, fine-print agendas.

In other words, despite the establishing shots of the Capitol and the increasingly pathetic cameos from attention-seeking federal-city figures, what reality TV producers have chosen as their locale is not a nexus of power and celebrity, but a nest of normalcy. And as one reality TV producer recently told Esquire when asked about the increase in scripted reality TV shows, 'Normal people don’t make good television.'"


And neither do annoying people, as I accidently saw on TLC's dry-heave of the year, DC Cupcakes. Do you know how many pairs of pants I ended up having on at the end of that half-hour of "signature swirl" hell? Two-hundred and fifteen. It took 215 minutes of watching José Andrés talk about his sausage just to get all those boring pants off again...

And so I don't have much hope for The Real Housewives of DC McLean and Bethesda. Not only is the show completely ridiculous considering that only one of the five "real housewives" lives in DC, but it's also completely retarded in that only one of them is black. In case Bravo didn't realize, about 55 percent of DC's residents are black and, of course, 100 percent of DC's residents don't live in Maryland or Virginia...

But actually, I'm kind of relieved that the sh*tshows on this sh*tshow don't live in DC or correctly represent it. If they did, we might really have something to be embarrassed about. As it stands now, the only people who should be hanging their heads in shame are the cast.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some proud streaking to do.

8 comments:

Sara said...

I hear you, but I'll be tuning in anyway. As horribly cliched as it sounds, Bravo's RH series is like a drug to me. Half the time it makes me feel horrible, but I just can't help myself.

And yes, I *know* they'll be at the Tyson's Cheesecake Factory more often than they'll be anywhere downtown--Bravo really dropped the ball on their angle (since the "power brokers" wouldn't touch this series with a ten foot pole, for obvious reasons).

Still gonna watch. May regret it. I'll make sure I have some extra pairs of pants on hand.

James Doakes said...

You watch television? Ewwww...

Anonymous said...

A song from Aimee Mann's latest release: "@#%&*! Smilers"


Thirty-one today
What a thing to say
Drinking Guinness in the afternoon
Taking shelter in the black cocoon

I thought my life would be different somehow
I thought my life would be better by now
I thought my life would be different somehow
I thought my life would be better by now
But it's not, and I don't know where to turn

Called some guy I knew
Had a drink or two
And we fumbled as the day grew dark
I pretended that I felt a spark

I thought my life would be different somehow
I thought my life would be better by now
I thought my life would be different somehow
I thought my life would be better by now
But it's not, and I don't know where to turn
No, it's not, and I don't know where to turn
No, it's not, and I don't know where to turn

Easter comes and goes
Maybe Jesus knows
So you roll on with the best you can
Getting loaded, watching CNN

I thought my life would be different somehow
I thought my life would be better by now
I thought my life would be different somehow
I thought my life would be better by now
But it's not, and I don't know where to turn
No, it's not, and I don't know where to turn
No, it's not, and I don't know where to turn
No, it's not, and I don't know

Freewheel said...

I was hoping you'd watch it so I wouldn't have to. Guess I'll have to watch it via The Soup.

wade said...

just came across your site from dcblogs, i used to read whyihatedc until it shut down, but now i can get my anti-dc sarcasm fix from here! thanks!

cutteing said...

...I prefer The Bad Girls Club. Now that's quality reality TV, right there.

Cutting Keybaord

Marissa said...

sara--

I won't say that I won't watch a marathon. I will not, however, be waiting with bated breath each week to watch them as they come out. It's not like we're talking about Rock of Love here.

james--

I peep everything. EVERYTHING.

anon--

Congratulations. You're the weirdest spammer The Anti DC's gotten.

freewheel--

I do a lot of sh*t for this blog, but not that...eek.

wade--

Welcome! I'm glad you've found something redeeming here. Hooray!

cutting--

But isn't it all quality? I mean, in a researching the deterioration of society kind of way?

Rather Not Use My Name This Time said...

Have you ever been out with a date so boring that you went to bed with him/her just to try to inject a little excitement into the evening? *That's* what "boring the pants off" means. :)