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  #1  
Old 11-01-2009, 09:16 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Percontations: Reality and Television

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  #2  
Old 11-01-2009, 10:55 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I really can't believe the popularity of reality TV. I saw a couple episodes way back when of The Real World and was presented with vacuous teens who seemed to either be back-stabbing each other or going on some attention-starved rant.

Each time I've briefly seen (while channel surfing or visiting) the various new product, Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race (a relative's favorite) etc it has just been a variation of what I saw years earlier on MTV (which at one time used to present music videos).

Life is too short.
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2009, 12:54 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
I really can't believe the popularity of reality TV. I saw a couple episodes way back when of The Real World and was presented with vacuous teens who seemed to either be back-stabbing each other or going on some attention-starved rant.

Each time I've briefly seen (while channel surfing or visiting) the various new product, Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race (a relative's favorite) etc it has just been a variation of what I saw years earlier on MTV (which at one time used to present music videos).

Life is too short.
Completely agree. I've even tried to make myself sit through an episode of a few of them, thinking "50 million [whatever] fans can't be wrong," and every time, it was agonizing. I just don't get what people see in these shows.

Worse, I truly do not understand why smart people spend time talking about them and trying to make them into more than they are. I couldn't watch this one all the way through, even after taking a break and reading the appreciative comments.

Just not my cup of tea, I guess.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 11-02-2009 at 01:02 AM..
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2009, 11:18 AM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

On the one hand very interesting, on the other a bit ironic. The thing about "low culture" academia is that a real low culture lover like myself is pretty skeptical of people who get Ph.D.s to study low culture. I also wonder how important things like ballon boys are to our culture. It's true that babies in wells are always going to capture the public imagination but does it tell us anything about our culture other than we are always going to be interested in babies in wells. I'll concede Lindbergh's baby (and OJ's trial) rose above the banal fray to possibly mean something interesting but most Nancy Grace stuff seems nothing more than ever was it so.

Still, I appreciate bhtv attacking culture and hope they keep it up notwithstanding my cynicism about eggheads getting involved.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:07 PM
testostyrannical testostyrannical is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

What precisely are the attributes of a "real low culture lover," and what is it about having a Ph.D that presents a barrier to being one?
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2009, 05:21 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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Originally Posted by testostyrannical View Post
What precisely are the attributes of a "real low culture lover," and what is it about having a Ph.D that presents a barrier to being one?
I'm gonna have to walk this one back. Watched this before I had my coffee.
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2009, 04:23 PM
breadcrust breadcrust is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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Originally Posted by testostyrannical View Post
What precisely are the attributes of a "real low culture lover," and what is it about having a Ph.D that presents a barrier to being one?
For me this question is about the value of the Ph.D. About half of university seems to be art appreciation courses and equivalent stuff. Non-followers of these fields respect Ph.Ds in these fields because the art (or whatever) is alien enough to average people that it seems like there must be some real work being done. When Ph.Ds study "real low culture" there's not even any mystique because we've all seen the same shit. I can talk for hours about the intricacies of 80s Saturday morning cartoons, but it doesn't mean that that body of knowledge is particularly respect-worthy. So, the only barrier to having a Ph.D in some aspect of low culture is the credibility gap.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2009, 11:55 AM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

First, thanks to bhtv for including cultural content. More please.

That being said, this discussion left me somewhat cold. When the two lovely ladies weren't regurgitating cliches ("balloon boy is the end of reality TV" . . ."everyone wants to be a star in the reality tv universe") they weren't sayin' much. I also think it's silly to claim that reality TV "says something about America." Not only am I not sure about the connection between pop culture trends and the political/socio economic conditions in general, but it's important to bear in mind that much of this "American" phenomenon of reality TV was either originally brought from overseas, or is now very successful overseas. (Big Brother etc.)

By the way, it seems to me that the real innovation in the past few years has been the aping of the reality genre - in a sense, almost the principals of cinema verite being put to television. (See, for example, The Office, which I must confess to not liking.) A better example of would be the superb new comedy, Modern Family. Highly recommended to everyone here!!

Then again, I also like Medium, so you may want to take my commendation with a grain of salt.

In any event, my reservations aside, BHTV remains by far my favorite form of "reality television." Thanks for the DV.

ADDED: Link to the Hulu page of Modern Family. Bet you can't watch just one!

Last edited by nikkibong; 11-01-2009 at 12:01 PM..
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:20 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
First, thanks to bhtv for including cultural content. More please.

That being said, this discussion left me somewhat cold. When the two lovely ladies weren't regurgitating cliches ("balloon boy is the end of reality TV" . . ."everyone wants to be a star in the reality tv universe") they weren't sayin' much. I also think it's silly to claim that reality TV "says something about America." Not only am I not sure about the connection between pop culture trends and the political/socio economic conditions in general, but it's important to bear in mind that much of this "American" phenomenon of reality TV was either originally brought from overseas, or is now very successful overseas. (Big Brother etc.)

By the way, it seems to me that the real innovation in the past few years has been the aping of the reality genre - in a sense, almost the principals of cinema verite being put to television. (See, for example, The Office, which I must confess to not liking.) A better example of would be the superb new comedy, Modern Family. Highly recommended to everyone here!!

Then again, I also like Medium, so you may want to take my commendation with a grain of salt.

In any event, my reservations aside, BHTV remains by far my favorite form of "reality television." Thanks for the DV.

ADDED: Link to the Hulu page of Modern Family. Bet you can't watch just one!
Medium is a relatively high quality example of a dramatic television series. I remember some extremely favorable criticism when it was a new series; and, since my wife is totally hooked on it, I've seen a fair number of episodes. That said, with rare exceptions, (Homicide: Life on the Streets, e.g.) rating the quality of TV shows requires grading on a pretty steep curve. I think what reality TV tells us most about is what it costs to produce various types of series television programming. I'm definitely not certain that any given episode of Survivor is a step down from, say, Charles In Charge. Also, despite the current plague of cookie cutter reality TV, there are some extraordinary series doing very well at the moment, such as Ugly Betty, and House, MD.
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Last edited by AemJeff; 11-01-2009 at 01:03 PM.. Reason: fixing word droppage; fix verb tense
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:31 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Medium is a relatively high quality example of a dramatic television series. I remember some extremely favorable criticism when it was a new series; and, since my wife is totally hooked on it, I've seen a fair number of episodes. That said, with rare exceptions, (Homicide: Life on the Streets, e.g.) rating the quality of TV shows requires grading on a pretty steep curve. I think what reality TV tells us most about is what it costs to producing various types of series television programming. I'm definitely not certain that any given episode of Survivor is a step down from, say, Charles In Charge. Also, despite the current plague of cookie cutter reality TV, there are some extraordinary series doing very at the moment, such as Ugly Betty, and House, MD.
Glad to know I have some company on Medium. Since watching five or six consecutive episodes on a trans-Pacific flight few months ago, I've been a fan. (Then again, long haul flights always equal lowered standards for me. For example.) House is great. And I LOVED the Shield, which recently finished up a multi-year run on F/X.

You are right, I suspect, on reality shows as well: their prevelance simply indicates the easiest way to make a profit, because their overheads are so low. (Jay Leno.) I think it's dubious at best to draw Grand Lessons on American Society from their presence.

Last edited by nikkibong; 11-01-2009 at 12:36 PM..
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2009, 05:40 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I think there's a lot of good television out there, more than there ever has been. And it's not surprising, either, given the success of HBO. Now there is more demand for gripping, drawn out, character-based television; consequently, many writers are trying their hand at television rather than more "serious" media, and television has been enriched as a result. Just think about all the great shows in the 2000s:

The Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield, House, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Office, 30 Rock, Better Off Ted, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Community, Parks and Rec, the first season of Heroes, The Joe Schmo Show, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, Top Chef, Battlestar Galactica, Arrested Development, Ugly Betty, Lost, Flight of the Conchords, Weeds, and I'm sure many others I haven't seen.
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2009, 06:28 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I never really watched television seriously until maybe 5 years ago. I didn't actively dislike television before but there just wasn't anything worth planning for. Now with niche shows targeted to small demographics and different distribution vectors I watch quite a bit of TV. The beauty of not having to watch a show when it is broadcast in the schedule is that you don't have to worry about the schedule being clogged full of shows you don't like. If you are committed to the broadcast television experience and don't like reality tv, there is much to lament. If you dvr or stream or buy dvd sets, all you care about are the gems. I don't worry about a lack of viable revenue streams destroying television because when they had those revenue streams they weren't making anything I wanted to watch.
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2009, 12:37 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default ?

Doesn't reality TV shows generally center on elimination of the participants through various forms of competition? If so, shouldn't reality TV shows be considered as nascent sports programming?

Considering America's, and the world's, fascination with sports programming, I am not sure why we should believe reality TV programming's popularity will be declining in the foreseeable future.
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2009, 01:09 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Ballon Boy as a harbinger of death for TV journalism

Ballon Boy says a lot about (1) the increase of the entertainment/news ratio on television news programs (2) the cultural orientation of those in the media business and (3) science illiteracy in the US.

(1) is old news.

(2) By "cultural orientation" I'm referring to the overwhelming proportion of those in the media business who have studied ONLY English or Journalism. These people know how to write. They know what stories will pull at the heart-strings of viewers. They know how to call public officials and quote them. (I won't get into the question of what public officials know). But there is a wide disconnect with those who have business/mathematical/analytical/engineering/science/techology training.

(3) Any decent engineer, having seen the video of the balloon release (which gives a sense of the physical size) and the video of the sailing balloon (which was listing to one side and swirling around like a leaf in the wind) could tell you that this object could not hoist anything as heavy as a child, and could not be moving in such a manner if transporting a child. (If you don't know how much weight a cubic meter of Helium can support, it's easy enough to look it up.)

The point is, everyone should have known that this was not some big emergency and probably a non-story. But if this is the case, media "professionals" don't want to know it. They are in the story manufacturing business.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 11-01-2009 at 01:14 PM..
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2009, 01:31 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Ballon Boy as the end of TV journalism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
... there is a wide disconnect with those who have business/mathematical/analytical/engineering/science/techology training.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
...
(If you don't know how much weight a cubic meter of Helium can support, it's easy enough to look it up.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
...
But if this is the case, media "professionals" don't want to know it. They are in the story manufacturing business.
I just want to make a comment on a limited point, that I think you hint at in the first segment above. I'm not sure that blaming journos for a deliberate "don't want to know" attitude is entirely fair to them. I think it's often just that numerical analysis isn't part of the toolkit available to a fair number of people in the profession. (Excepting a subset of the reporters on financial and scientific beats.)
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:59 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Ballon Boy as the end of TV journalism

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I just want to make a comment on a limited point, that I think you hint at in the first segment above. I'm not sure that blaming journos for a deliberate "don't want to know" attitude is entirely fair to them. I think it's often just that numerical analysis isn't part of the toolkit available to a fair number of people in the profession. (Excepting a subset of the reporters on financial and scientific beats.)
You may be right about most of the individual journos involved. But I wonder if there isn't a pressure on them as a group, especially in a case like this, to manufacture the story first and worry about the justification later.
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2009, 01:22 PM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Quote:
Doesn't reality TV shows generally center on elimination of the participants through various forms of competition? If so, shouldn't reality TV shows be considered as nascent sports programming?
The big difference IMO is that lots of the drama (on reality shows) appears completely contrived (if not downright scripted) and the participants appear to be very much so playing to the cameras.

I don't get the same feeling at all from most sports programming (except for the occasional Terrell Owens hula dance).

A closer example would be politics, with clowns like (just the latest example) Alan Grayson, or justice, where cameras turned the OJ Simpson trial into a circus (one knew it was in trouble after hearing the Judge Ito/Arsenio Hall story). One can only wonder what sort of canned dramatizations will be generated when they finally let video cameras into the SCOTUS.
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  #18  
Old 11-01-2009, 06:27 PM
InJapan InJapan is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

In discussing the "cult of the individual in the 21st century" I'm surprised neither of the guests mentioned the WWE and the art of the "Heel". It's the ultimate American version of the "constructed" reality.
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:31 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Didn't Roland Barthes write something about the heel in wrestling back in the day? My suspicion is "the heel" is more universal than American.
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  #20  
Old 11-02-2009, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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Originally Posted by themightypuck View Post
Didn't Roland Barthes write something about the heel in wrestling back in the day? My suspicion is "the heel" is more universal than American.
Yes it is. Your reference made me get out my dusty edition of RB. "The Art of Wrestling" (1957): "But wrestling is above all meant to portray a purely moral concept: that of justice. The idea of paying is essential to wrestling, and the crowd's "Give it to him" means above all else "Make him pay."

I think that must be why I have never fancied wrestling. Though I suppose if I had to choose a form of torture I would rather be forced to watch wrestling than reality TV. .
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  #21  
Old 11-02-2009, 02:42 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I never really got wrestling either. It always seemed so cheap and obvious. Good for a laugh though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vioV9RJPt6Y
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  #22  
Old 11-02-2009, 03:16 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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Originally Posted by themightypuck View Post
Didn't Roland Barthes write something about the heel in wrestling back in the day? My suspicion is "the heel" is more universal than American.
Yep, in "Mythologies."

Fun fact, Bob Mould from Husker Du got a job as a professional wrestling writer after he was a big rock star, just because he loves wrestling so much.
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  #23  
Old 11-01-2009, 08:24 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

That would be an interesting subject.

It may shock some of the commenters here, but I'm rather an avid fan of both professional wrestling (aka WWF or WWE) and mixed martial arts (aka UFC).

I would say that the heel in the WWWF/WWF/WWE is something of a lagging indicator. From 1983-1993 or so, the heel in WWE, at least, _always_ cheated by using "foreign objects" (brass knuckles, a pipe, a chair, etc.) on the babyface while the ref's back was conveniently turned. Moreover, heels always had negative personality traits that identified them to the audience as bad guys. In the case of the Iron Sheik, for example, his personality trait was...well, it was being Iranian, but it was also being anti-American. Same with the USSR wrestler Nikolai Volkoff. Ravishing Ric Rude (RIP) was a bad guy because he was vain; same with Mr. Perfect (RIP). You could go on and on in this vein. As for the good guys, they were clean cut (Hulk Hogan, The British Bulldog (RIP)) and followed the rules. They would never really cheat unless they caught the heel mid-cheat. In that case, they'd fight fire with fire. Anyway, this era ended with the steroid scandals of 1993, where it was revealed that numerous wrestlers (now known as "sports entertainers") who were supposed to be clean in fact used boatloads of steroids.

1996 was the start of the "Attitude" Era. The most famous babyface from this era was Stone Cold Steve Austin, a beer-swilling redneck who disobeyed his boss, Vince McMahon, president of the WWE. McMahan, interestingly, was the main heel. It was a boss v. worker dynamic, where the premise of the conflict was the worker wanted to be his own man and the boss wanted him to be more corporate. In this time, babyfaces would often cheat, and heels would sometimes beat babyfaces without cheating (this is called "pinning [someone] clean"). Matches in this time also involved significantly more bloodshed and stunts than the did in the ear beforehand. Also, wrestlers would regularly break "kayfabe". Kayfabe is the carny conversational code of pro wrasslin'. You're not supposed to say that it's fake, you're not supposed to acknowledge that you may be friends with people you're feuding with outside the ring, and so on. Well, that was broken, most notably when Owen Hart died in-ring. Jim Ross, one of the announcers, said something like "folks, this is not part of the entertainment. This is real." or something like that. (It was also broken in numerous online interviews, and in the 1993 trial.)

Finally, 2007-now is not well-defined yet. This era probably started with the murder-suicide of Chris Benoit. Wrestling got a lot of negative attention from that incident and ever since then they've tried to clean up their act with blood-free matches, more PG-rated content, and horrible, horrible writing, courtesy of HHH (HHH, prounced "Triple H", is the top wrestler in the company right now. He also happens to be married to Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of Vince McMahon and alleged runner of the company. Naturally, HHH writes most of the story lines to redound to his benefit, which makes the product feel pretty stale).
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  #24  
Old 11-01-2009, 08:47 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Bobby, this is the greatest post I think you have ever written!! If you have a chance, check out some of Ta Nehisi Coate's wrestling-related blogs. He was an old-school fan and has written some fun stuff.

My all-time favorite was this guy (though I never really did figure out whether he was a good or bad guy.)
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  #25  
Old 11-01-2009, 09:22 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Heh. The inscrutable Ultimate Warrior/Dingo Warrior/Warrior was always marketed as a good guy. IIRC, he had substantial creative control over his character, so he refused to turn heel.

I didn't know that that Coates wrote on wrestling. I almost never his blog (nothing against him, I read almost no blogs), so I hadn't noticed that.
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  #26  
Old 11-01-2009, 10:55 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I wish I understood. All I can say is that my favorite wrestler is Mickey Rourke. (With a shout to André the Giant - but I know him best as Fezzik.)
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  #27  
Old 11-02-2009, 01:11 AM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I take it you don't have any problem appreciating why someone would find mixed martial arts or boxing interesting?
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  #28  
Old 11-02-2009, 08:13 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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I take it you don't have any problem appreciating why someone would find mixed martial arts or boxing interesting?
Boxing. and martial arts, I sort of get it on some abstract level. I deleted a quip I'd added to the end of the post that said "But I don't get football or hockey, either," mostly because there's some unexpressed tension between the idea of competitive sports and pro-wrestling that seemed to drain the joke of a clear point. In my case, I live in Philadelphia, fer crissakes, the Phillies are playing the Yankees in the World Series, and I the only reason I've seen anything of that at all is there's a member of my household who's a fanatic Phillies fan - so I've been in the room while the games were on TV.

I'm not sure if my lack of interest in the sports broadly is the same as my lack of interest in pro-wrestling. I do have friends who take a keen, but extremely ironic, interest in wrestling. That approach never really worked for me either.
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Last edited by AemJeff; 11-02-2009 at 08:20 AM..
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  #29  
Old 11-02-2009, 10:53 AM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Heh, I'm not surprised you're at least into boxing (did I read you right?). Not too far away you have Easton, home of Larry Holmes, the second greatest heavyweight of all time!

As for pro-wrestling, I don't take an ironic interest in it (actually, I don't watch it anymore, but that's for moral reasons); instead, my interest revolves around two foci: (1) seeing how behind-the-scenes shenanigans manifest themselves in the finished product; and (2) actually getting caught up in extremely well-done matches.

Re: (2) first--it's just like opera or dancing, except, of course, that opera and dancing and have had the benefit of some of history's greatest aesthetes devoting themselves to refining them, whereas pro-wrestling has a had a bunch of weirdos. That said, I sometimes find myself actually caught up in the "matches", because the participants succeed in giving you an "anything could happen" feel. It's not as though I suspend my disbelief; it's rather that I get caught up in the story of the match. The most recent example of this for me was Shawn Michaels's match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 (or 24, I can't remember which).

Re (1)--I like to see people go beyond their scripted lines and win the audience over; or see wrestlers get a "push" from management but fail to win the audience's sympathies; or see management attempt to "bury" some of their performers, only to find the audience continues to like the performer; or to see how backstage disagreements (which you can read about in Dave Meltzer's "Wrestling Observer") result in botched matches, or wrestlers getting fired, etc.

But I'm starting to get embarrassed now.
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  #30  
Old 11-02-2009, 11:02 AM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I have only watched Wrestling (umm..one of the TV ones, I don't remember which) a handful of times and never got into it.

From the few I did see though, I sort of got a As the World turns + physical conflict vibe from it. Would you say this is a fair characterization?

As far as the mixed martial arts stuff, even though I was a member of two dojangs for a total of like 12 years, I just can't seem to get into it. Just looks a little to much like brawling for me.
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  #31  
Old 11-02-2009, 11:22 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
Heh, I'm not surprised you're at least into boxing (did I read you right?). Not too far away you have Easton, home of Larry Holmes, the second greatest heavyweight of all time!

As for pro-wrestling, I don't take an ironic interest in it (actually, I don't watch it anymore, but that's for moral reasons); instead, my interest revolves around two foci: (1) seeing how behind-the-scenes shenanigans manifest themselves in the finished product; and (2) actually getting caught up in extremely well-done matches.

Re: (2) first--it's just like opera or dancing, except, of course, that opera and dancing and have had the benefit of some of history's greatest aesthetes devoting themselves to refining them, whereas pro-wrestling has a had a bunch of weirdos. That said, I sometimes find myself actually caught up in the "matches", because the participants succeed in giving you an "anything could happen" feel. It's not as though I suspend my disbelief; it's rather that I get caught up in the story of the match. The most recent example of this for me was Shawn Michaels's match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 (or 24, I can't remember which).

Re (1)--I like to see people go beyond their scripted lines and win the audience over; or see wrestlers get a "push" from management but fail to win the audience's sympathies; or see management attempt to "bury" some of their performers, only to find the audience continues to like the performer; or to see how backstage disagreements (which you can read about in Dave Meltzer's "Wrestling Observer") result in botched matches, or wrestlers getting fired, etc.

But I'm starting to get embarrassed now.
Sorry, bad editing and bad eyesight left a period after ther the word "boxing" that didn't need to be there. What I meant to imply is that I can understand an interest in boxing and martial arts, but only at a remove. It's never had much personal interest.

I would certainly classify your expressed interest, both (1) and (2), as an "ironic" interest. Not to the (ridiculous) degree my friends have taken it - taking on the personae of serious fans, screaming at the television or showing up at matches, participating in the whole crowd dynamic thing - but ironic nevertheless. And what's wrong with that? The way you've chosen to break it down actually makes it sound interesting and fun. More power to you, for that.
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Last edited by AemJeff; 11-02-2009 at 11:54 AM..
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  #32  
Old 11-02-2009, 11:36 AM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
Heh, I'm not surprised you're at least into boxing (did I read you right?). Not too far away you have Easton, home of Larry Holmes, the second greatest heavyweight of all time!

As for pro-wrestling, I don't take an ironic interest in it (actually, I don't watch it anymore, but that's for moral reasons); instead, my interest revolves around two foci: (1) seeing how behind-the-scenes shenanigans manifest themselves in the finished product; and (2) actually getting caught up in extremely well-done matches.

Re: (2) first--it's just like opera or dancing, except, of course, that opera and dancing and have had the benefit of some of history's greatest aesthetes devoting themselves to refining them, whereas pro-wrestling has a had a bunch of weirdos. That said, I sometimes find myself actually caught up in the "matches", because the participants succeed in giving you an "anything could happen" feel. It's not as though I suspend my disbelief; it's rather that I get caught up in the story of the match. The most recent example of this for me was Shawn Michaels's match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 (or 24, I can't remember which).

Re (1)--I like to see people go beyond their scripted lines and win the audience over; or see wrestlers get a "push" from management but fail to win the audience's sympathies; or see management attempt to "bury" some of their performers, only to find the audience continues to like the performer; or to see how backstage disagreements (which you can read about in Dave Meltzer's "Wrestling Observer") result in botched matches, or wrestlers getting fired, etc.

But I'm starting to get embarrassed now.
Despite the fact that, like Jeff, my interest in wrestling does not extend far beyond this wonderful film, I hereby call for Bobby G to do an apollo project (or, better yet, a REAL diavlog) about this subject. It seems most compelling.

And if you get hid over the head with a chair during the DV . . . well, all the better
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  #33  
Old 11-02-2009, 12:14 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

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Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
Despite the fact that, like Jeff, my interest in wrestling does not extend far beyond this wonderful film, I hereby call for Bobby G to do an apollo project (or, better yet, a REAL diavlog) about this subject. It seems most compelling.

And if you get hid over the head with a chair during the DV . . . well, all the better
I have to say - I think this is an idea with a great deal of merit.
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  #34  
Old 11-02-2009, 01:03 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Well, I'd be happy to do a diavlog on the subject. Any takers?

That said, if you want a real diavlog, I recommend Todd W. Martin, who writes "Smashmouth Driving" (toddwmartin.blogspot.com) or Dave Meltzer, the king of wrestling observers. Irving Muchnik and Matthew Randazzo V (a Matt Taibbi type) would also be good especially on the Chris Benoit murder-suicide.
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  #35  
Old 11-02-2009, 02:47 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
Well, I'd be happy to do a diavlog on the subject. Any takers?

That said, if you want a real diavlog, I recommend Todd W. Martin, who writes "Smashmouth Driving" (toddwmartin.blogspot.com) or Dave Meltzer, the king of wrestling observers. Irving Muchnik and Matthew Randazzo V (a Matt Taibbi type) would also be good especially on the Chris Benoit murder-suicide.
Bobby G, you're an assistant professor of philosophy, just like many "real" diavloggers. I propose we just drop the elitist idiocy of the Apollo Project and have you on in unobscured glory.

You could be featured on a special Wrestling episode of Percontations; 'Confrontations', perhaps?

Last edited by nikkibong; 11-02-2009 at 02:48 PM.. Reason: typo
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  #36  
Old 11-02-2009, 02:48 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

I think one reason me and a lot of my friends never really got into wrestling is that it always cost money and we never had any. When I was in the wrestling demo, you needed PPV cash. Football and hockey were free.
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  #37  
Old 11-01-2009, 08:19 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

The last good tv I saw was over a year ago when I purchased the fifth and final season of "The Wire."

John
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  #38  
Old 11-01-2009, 10:32 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Percontations: Reality and Television

Speaking of Octomom and being so close to the aftermath of Halloween





So wrong, and yet fascinating. This could have been the high brow/concept costume Mickey was looking for, oh well.
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