by Jeremy Clarke
A Few Facts About
Having worked on a number of reality shows, I thought I’d enlighten you with some interesting facts that I’ve gathered over the years.
1. Everything looks better on television
Think your apartment would look a million times better if you could get on one of those home makeover shows? Think again. Being in the art department I can tell you right now that not being professional remodelers we use any means necessary to make things “camera ready.” Spray glue, staples and duct tape are some of our best friends. Recovering your pool table with gold lame contact paper may sound like a good idea, until the glue gets old and that shit starts to bubble up like the insides of a homeless junky’s crack spoon. And speaking of crack spoons, some people are really photogenic. Somehow the camera hides their puffy eyes, their lack of hair, or their facial pock marks. I have seen proof of this people: Sally Jessie Raphael in person is not a pretty sight.
2. It’s really boring
Thank God they don’t show reality shows in real time. Without TVs or radios to entertain, things start to get a bit slow. There is a lot of down time between events and games. Pretty much all there is to do is talk to the other people on the show with you. People just run out of shit to say. Although, on the other hand, boredom leads to drinking, which usually leads to trouble, which leads to good TV. I guess you can’t have one without the other.
This is one I truly don’t understand. You would think that if you were trying to make a hit TV show, that you would want to see what others were doing so you could copy/ avoid copying. This is an actual conversation I had with a producer before the start of a show:
Producer: Can you get us one of those coin-operated genies? We want to give them their instructions for the day from it.
Me: Yeah I could but we just did that on _______ .
Producer: You did?
Producer: OK, never mind then. Well, we’ve got some other fun stuffed planned.
Me: Like what?
Producer: We’re thinking about setting a rat loose in the house!!
Me: Uh, yeah. That happened on _______ already.
Producer: You guys set a rat loose in the house?
Me: No, it was just there, but it took up twenty minutes of the entire episode.
Producer: Oh, never mind then.
4. Being on a reality show is like being in prison
The obvious simile is that you’re always being watched. But you also have to consider other problems. Your time is not your own. Producers decide where you go, when you eat, who you see. Casts are moved around like cattle. Your guardians do have favorites, and god help you if you’re not one of them. And when the cast is out of the house and the cameras are gone, the crew that’s still there is eating those cookies they made last night while going through luggage to retrieve the bottle of vodka from the house bar someone thought would look better in their luggage.
5. The Crew is Way More Interesting than the Cast
The immoral/insane behavior of the cast is only 1/10th to that of its crew. I have worked on shows that have increased the liquor/drug sales of small towns to rival that of Indian reservations. Crew members are like horny bridesmaids at their 3rd spring wedding, while fights are a daily occurrence, and alliances are a must. We’re basically a band of pirates with surveillance equipment.
Rhachel is currently looking for work on a show that is 100% fictional. If that doesn’t work out, she’ll be working on Amish in the City, Fox’s newest reality show. Besides securing her a place in hell, working on reality shows has brought her many paychecks and the coolest picture on Friendster one could ask for.
tv missalette home page
missalette home page