I write about culture from a pro-Black perspective

Waxing Brazilian

As a rule, I loathe reality television. For no other reason than I really don't enjoy the inevitable feeling of superiority that comes from watching people debase themselves in pursuit of that elusive 15 minutes of fame.

But there are exceptions to every rule. Project Runway for being the anti-reality show reality show. Ru-Paul's Drag Race for being a good-hearted parody of Project Runway and doing the one thing that America's Next Top Model hasn't – turning its contestants into legitimate stars. And the last season of Making The Band with Crazy Que from Day26 for showing just how much male R&B stars truly are divas.

Yea, I can justify those shows.  I can't justify having watched four episodes of The A-List New York

Wait.  Yes I can. 

Behold:


  Rodiney

 

Rodiney Santiago, ladies and gentlemen. HE FAHN!

Logo would have you care about all the diva affection and the pointless feud between Austin with his obvious bottomless well of insecurity and hateful, horrible Derek, or marvel at the fact that the cast seems to do absolutely nothing but snipe at each other and eat brunch.

But you don't. Because the most compelling thing on the show is watching Rodiney, an immigrant model from Brazil, be the only flesh-and-blood human being on it. His crazy relationship with reality show veteran Reichen Lehmkuhl is absurd, but his behavior in it is not. You get the impression that Reichen said, "hey, wanna do this reality show with me" and he agreed, not giving it much thought. 

And we watch him grapple with the implications of that decision, not just being filmed 24/7, but being forced to interact with a group of individuals who are not real people at all with whom he has nothing whatsoever in common, and deal with Reichen, who's a raging narcissist. We watch him in staged scene with the other cast members after staged scene looking completely, unimaginably bored out of his mind with the whole enterprise.

I don't think we've ever seen a reality show star display so vividly and realistically how awful it is to actually be on a reality show while actually on a reality show.  And I'm watching it.


Posted by tlewisisdope on October 26th, 2010 :: Filed under Television
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