Whether we like it or not, the '00s introduced us to a new form of celebrity: the reality star. In previous decades, the closest we got to this were especially entrancing personalities from MTV's Real World. These people gained fame for acting like well-crafted exaggerations of their real selves.
Faster than you can say, "I didn't come here to make friends," networks picked up on the public's fascination with reality TV like Survivor and they pushed it to the popularity that it has reached today. Now, reality shows barely reflect what happens in normal people's lives but are generally more like high-concept game shows or extremely scripted improvs. But people keep watching, because the personalities are big and captivating.
Yup. Strategic footage editing does wonders. Here are some of our personal favorites from the genre, but feel free to comment with your own worthy additions!
Paris and Nicole, we hardly knew ye.
Actually, we knew ye way too much. But that won't be a problem anymore (at least on a weekly TV show basis). E! has canceled The Simple Life. US Magazine is reporting that producers think that everything happening in the girls' private lives is overshadowing the show. Funny, I would argue that the success of the show is based only on what happened in their private lives. Why else are people watching these two?
A source tells the mag that Nicole was also really hard to work with, saying "Paris was the one willing to do anything. Nicole was the diva."
[via TV Tattle]
- At 7, CBS has a new 60 Minutes.
- NBC has a new Dateline at 7, then the Concert For Diana.
- FOX has a new episode of The Loop at 7 (new episodes air at 8:30 and 9:30 as well).
- At 9, PBS has a new Mystery!
- Food Network has a new Next Food Network Star at 9.
- WE has a new Bridezillas at 9.
- There's a new John From Cincinnati on HBO at 9, then new eps of Entourage and Flight of the Conchords.
- At 10, Lifetime has a new Army Wives.
- MSNBC has this morning's Meet The Press at 10, if you missed it.
- Showtime has a new Meadowlands at 10.
- Also at 10: E! has a new Simple Life Goes To Camp, followed by a new Sunset Tan.
Check your local TV listings for more.
I always look forward to what Christopher Hitchens has to say. I don't always agree with him (for example, his Vanity Fair piece saying that female comedians aren't funny was just stooopid), but he's an intelligent guy and always has a unique take on politics, history, and culture. And now he has written an article for Slate on the Paris Hilton case.
Should he even be writing about someone like the Simple Life star, when he himself admits that the case has been covered way too much? He confronts this paradox, but I still wonder if he succeeds in defending his choice to write about her (though I don't really think he needs to defend it).
But the piece is interesting. Hitchens admits he has seen the Hilton sex video, says he doesn't like Sarah Silverman (big shock), and thinks that the treatment Hilton is getting "stinks" and that she should be left to live the life she has been given.
- At 7, CBS has a new 60 Minutes, followed by The 61st Annual Tony Awards.
- NBC has a new, two-hour Dateline at 7.
- At 8, TCM has Bringing Up Baby, with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.
- At 8:30, The Loop returns with a new episode on FOX (there's another new episode at 9:30).
- At 9, PBS has a new Mystery!
- HBO has the series finale of The Sopranos at 9, followed by the series premiere of John From Cincinnati.
- Food Network has a new Next Food Network Star at 9, then a new Challenge.
- At 10, Showtime has the season finale of The Tudors.
- E! has a new Simple Life Goes To Camp at 10, followed by a new Sunset Tan.
- There's a new Army Wives on Lifetime at 10.
Check your local TV listings for more.
The "big house," that is!
checked into the beautiful turned herself into authorities last night and began her 23 day stay in jail. TMZ.com has the video of Paris and her teary mom arriving in their car. She actually surrendered miles away from Lynwood, where she will be doing her time. She'll be in a cell and have a shower and phone to use. There will also be a small pod attached to her cell where she can watch TV (a small pod to watch TV? What, is she Michael Jackson?). She says she's ready to face the consequences and learn from her mistakes (*cough*).
By the way, the photo? That's not a publicity photo, it's Paris' mug shot. (Update: the police released the wrong photo.)
In honor of her first day, check out GSN's The Prison Life game. And after the jump, a video of Sarah Silverman joking about Paris at the MTV Movie Awards, with Paris in the audience.
The Simple Life Goes to Camp (Mon., 10PM ET, E!) 5th season premiere
Maybe Paris Hilton is going to jail as one big publicity stunt. Hey, last season, she and Nicole Richie generated interest by "not speaking." Now, they're BFFs again and serving as counselors in Southern California's Camp Shawnee, where they stir up trouble for the weight loss, pageant, survival and drama campers. It's rough going for the celebutantes, who must share cabins, walk outside to go to the bathroom and (gasp) give up their Blackberries.
House (Tue., 9PM ET, Fox) 3rd season finale
Oh, House. He may drive everyone in his life crazy, but he's a brilliant doctor. So brilliant, a Cuban couple risk a dangerous sea voyage just so House might treat the sick wife, Marina. Unfortunately, her medical records are lost in the shipwreck, and when the team performs diagnostic tests, she flatlines. As House races to keep her alive, Foreman prepares to leave the hospital. Can House save Marina -- and his team?
Since I write about the TV industry, it's impossible for me to avoid this whole "Paris Hilton prison thing" no matter how hard I try.
According to a recent report, Hilton is "distraught" about serving her sentence. I'm not quite sure why that's news. It seems to me that every single person ever sentenced to prison was probably pretty upset about it. If the headline had read, "Paris Hilton Thrilled About Going to Prison," that would be something worth reading, I would imagine. I'd certainly stop and pick up that issue in the checkout lane.
Sending Richie, the poster child for eating disorders, into a "fat camp" is just plain obscene, not to mention dangerous. "Proper eating" consists of more than laxatives and Red Bull, and Paris is no wellness champ either unless, of course, your idea of "wellness" involves mixing a line of blow with Strawberry Quik to balance its bitter aftertaste - last year's trend among Hollywood's starlet set. But, I'm not giving the kids at these camps enough credit. They're not stupid. Maybe, they'll even teach Paris and Nicole a thing or two - like how to ingest solid foods.
The new show will find two teams of contestants investigating a replica of an actual crime scene under the watchful eye of Detective Tommy Le Noir, a 20 year veteran of law enforcement. The teams have 48 hours to complete their investigation before making their final presentation to Le Noir. The team that makes the best case will have a donation made in their names to charity.
The idea makes sense for Spike, given that they already run CSI and CSI: NY. Scheduling Murder in alongside those is a good fit. On the other hand, I can't help thinking that this show was already done with Murder In Small Town X. And just going on what we have here, it sounds like it was done better then.
I have so many questions about this video of three teenaged girls meeting Paris Hilton at her house at 3am.
The first question is the one posed by readers in the comments section over at TMZ.com: where are the parents? The second question is, who filmed this? TMZ? Someone with the girls? Someone with Hilton? Did there just happen to be someone camped out in front of Hilton's home with a video camera to record the event, or is this more publicity orchestrated by Hilton somehow? You'd think she'd be more freaked out by a bunch of strangers coming so close to her in her driveway at 3 in the morning.
I guess there's a third question too: what will the world be like in about 10 years when these girls are adults and have to become members of society? Hey, I can understand being excited about a celebrity, they even did it with Davy Jones in the 60s. But at least Jones, you know, did something. What has Hilton done that would make these girls worship her? Inherited money? A reality show? Making a sex video? Just being "famous?"
Wow, what some people will do for, you know, whatever. A family in Atlanta were apparently approached by E! to have their home painted pink and affixed with both a sign for The Simple Life and E! Entertainment's exclamation mark logo as a way to promote the new season of The Simple Life: 'Til Death Do Us Part. I guess during this season Nicole and Paris play pretend mommies or something? Despite my personal aversion to reality shows and especially this particular reality show, the house has been attracting a lot of attention. Perhaps too much, actually, as it seems people have a nasty habit of ringing the doorbell late at night. I assume those making the late night visits were just lonely men who figured Paris had gotten lazy and decided to use the house as a means of luring suitors to her. You know, like her version of the Bat symbol. It's an honest mistake.
"I thought he was a flower, but I found out he's a weed."
Damn girl, that's deep. Wait, no it isn't. That's a line from Nicole Richie's new single, "Dandelion" yet another attempt by someone who isn't famous for any reason to break into the music biz. Hell, Paris and K-Fed did it, so why shouldn't Nicole get her chance to sing through her nose to pre-recorded audio tracks? Actually, the production values on the song are pretty good, and like most pop songs there's enough filtering and vocal modulation to make it sound decent, or at the very least it blends nicely into the ignorable white noise that is mainstream pop music.
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