Monday, February 21, 2011

Pop Culture Musings: Reality Stars II

Last summer, I blogged about reality TV stars. Since the blight of reality TV stars hasn't gone away, I decided to do a follow up post.

In other news: just one more post till my 200th blog post!

The Situation

Rumor has it Mike of The Jersey Shore has spent most of this season glued to the duck phone talking to his agent, trying to parlay his success into movie roles. For this reason, I must compare the Sitch to Shelley Long on Cheers. Remember when Shelley mistakenly thought that she was going on to bigger and better things by leaving her old drinking buddies behind? (Incidentally, who would have thought we'd find a group of people to make Norm, Cliffy, and Paul look positively cosmopolitan?)

A little part of me hopes the Situation leaves, just like Diane left Cheers. Not so much because I want to see the show fall apart, but because I think a remake of Troop Beverly Hills could use a six pack. Also, because I want to see which Scientologist has to step up to replace Sitch.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

What more is there to say about the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that hasn't been said, blogged, and tweeted by Andy Cohen and his production team? My own impression is that these girls are a bit like a minstrel show version of the First Wives' Club.

Taylor has clearly learned from Goldie Hawn and blown up her lips well before her husband starts eyeing an Elizabeth Berkley doppelganger. Camille Grammer, on the other hand, takes "revenge" by doing the talk show circuit and making single entendres on her husband's choice of underwear. Meanwhile, Kelsey smiles and nods, pretending that she's really shown him while mentally congratulating himself on the fact that his current lover has reached the age of majority and then some.

Tim Gunn

As you can see from all the reality stars I've been blogging about, sense and decorum are severely lacking. And that's why we need the Gunn. Tim brings order to the chaos that is reality TV. That's why I think of him as the Sidney Poitier of reality television, telling off everyone from to the Salahis to Kenley Collins.

Sometimes we need a well spoken Bo Brummel type to come in, sit us down, and tell us that yes, burning sanitary napkins is filthy. And no, you can't go to the White House sans invite.

Liz Lee

Liz Lee is the star of the MTV show My Life as Liz, a semi scripted reality program. Liz is Quirky and has the dyed red hair and comic book collection to prove it. Whether she's diving into a dumpster for a found object project or burning photographs of her former teen queen best friend, Liz is nothing if not studiously left of center.

But you can tell that she's not really quite as bizarre as she tries to be. I get the feeling that Liz is more at home at the Gap than Urban Outfitter and that she carries around the Hipster Handbook hoping that her fellow Pratt Institute students don't find her out. Liz's diligence at trying as hard as possible to be awkward puts me in mind of Natalie Portman in Garden State. Cute, perky overachiever trying her best to be as alternative as possible by spouting off random monosyllabic nonsensical words. (Doesn't it say something that the only way that Sam's shtick made sense was when the creators of Garden State decided to make her brain damaged?)

The Jersey Shore

Yep, I've got more to say about them. Remember that episode of Boy Meets World when Cory, Shawn, and Topanga star in a dumbed down academic bowl, answering frivolous pop cultural questions, only to have Mr. Feeny heap scorn and derision on them? Of course you do. The Jersey Shore gang is like a less cute, less pop culturally savvy version of Lips, Hair, and Brainiac-14.

I'm still waiting for Mr. Feeny to swoop in and scream at Mike, Pauly D, and Vinny for having over twenty different classifications of grenades and land mines but -- despite access to Google and Wikipedia -- no idea who invented the printing press.