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Over the past few years since reality shows have become more popular MTV has produced many, some bad like "next", and some good like "made". Not being a fan of the "reality" genre i didn't quite know what to expect but i was pleasantly surprised. Made follows teens who want to achieve dreams that wouldn't be possible under normal circumstances and have a few months in which to do so. Unlike many reality shows - made is fast moving and keeps the viewer entertained and doesn't "bore" them like many similar shows do. The dreams are also quite varied and not the usual cliché - "want to lose weight" or "want to look pretty". I think parts of the show are scripted, but that just makes its entertaining since on the whole its pretty much unscripted - (or at least it would appear so). Any young adults from 13 to 20 would find this show at least mildly interesting since it deals with a lot issues surrounding young people today. I guess a nice touch is that it always finishes on a high note, and a bit of optimism wouldn't go amiss in todays society.
Here is a typical plot outline of "Made":
1.) Teen wants to be something they're obviously not 2.) Teen is too lazy/uncreative to accomplish it themselves 3.) MTV sends a made coach to transform them 4.) After weeks of the kid halfheartedly attempting to follow the coach's orders, they enter some sort of challenge or contest which will test how far the kid has actually come. 5.) Sometimes they accomplish their goals, but usually they fail miserably and settle for a moral victory.
At face value "Made" is entertaining, but ultimately forgettable.
6 out of 10
The show that certainly tries its best to put an end to the American
Dream. "No, you CAN'T do anything. Not when you're a born loser." I can
just see this show's participants rolling their eyes for the rest of
their lives every time they hear that infamous fortune-cookie phrase
"you can achieve anything, as long as you put your mind to it". Of
course, that does imply that there IS a mind there to begin with...
"I want to be made. I want to BE somebody. I want people to notice me. I want to be popular. I want to be a fat screwball making a total jackass of myself on a stupid music channel. I want to behave like a moron in the pursuit of a pointless, unreachable dream. I want to be no.235,987 in the TV Book Of Reality Show Losers. Hi, world, here I am!!!!"
Damn, I thought I'd seen my fair share of nerds and nerdesses in my lifetime, but the collection of klutzy, drooling, semi-autistic, nose-picking creatures MTV has managed to collect over the years for this show made me realize just how much more poor DNA there is out there; some of the nerds are so geeky I almost thought they were computer-animated, i.e. couldn't possibly be real. I recall an episode of a 19 year-old 2-meter male ultra-dork who'd never kissed a girl before. His made coach was some charlatan with Tom Cruise teeth and hair, promising to get this guy a date by the time the 6 weeks were over. What happened? I can't really tell you: I stopped watching that episode mid-way; I was cringing with deep embarrassment for this poor schluck (Fremdenscham), I just couldn't bear to watch him anymore, or listen to his high-pitched whine as he made his pitiful attempts to woo girls who were clearly trying to control their gag-reflex. Perhaps "Made" serves a useful role as a reminder and educator of the idealistic, liberal, and gullible among us that we are in fact not all born equal, i.e. that some women shouldn't make babies, and some guys shouldn't even think about flirting, let alone try it. (Some gene pools just aren't fit for this world.) It's in all the nature studies; every group of chimps has its alpha males who get all the "girls", and its epsilon males who never even get close to a female. No amount of coaching can fix that, especially not from the series of "experts" that MTV hires to "improve" these humanoids.
But not all "Made" candidates are nerds or misfits. There's the occasional great-looking girl or regular jock. Perhaps they were just seeking for their 15 minutes, no idea... They weren't quite as fun to watch as the above-mentioned X-legged dilettantes.
The most likable contestant was Katrina Knuckles; a very entertaining episode. One of the most annoying morons was an obese, limp-wristed fashion-designer wannabe called Joshua (with breasts). Were kids like him real or computer-animated? You tell me.
I have to admit that a lot of these episodes aren't a bad time-waster at all. Watching overweight slobs exercise for the first time was always a slight passion of mine - it definitely gets the adrenaline on my sadistic side going. Just sit back and enjoy this week's fatso as (s)he tries to run four laps after a lifetime of stuffing their gobs with hamburgers and tacos, with the only physical excercise consisting of lifting the TV's remote control. It's better than 30s slapstick. Besides, it can be great fun to watch bird-brained and/or lazy and/or spoiled kids reach for the stars. Their self-delusion, wonderfully absurd (initial) optimism, and total lack of self-understanding redefine the word "clueless". The worst of the worst of U.S. teens at their worst. "I'm young, lazy, talentless, and dumb. Please, MTV, can you turn me into an overnight success at my high school?"
We were all young at some point (except perhaps Peter Ustinov) but I can safely say that I was never this dumb, not even close. The hopelessness of the contestants has little or nothing to do with their young age. Who in their right mind would volunteer for a reality show, anyway? People who crave attention have severe personality disorders, issues which 25 Sigmund Freuds couldn't hope to tackle with any amount of success. There's really no essential difference between an actor, a pop singer, or a reality show contestant. Someone ought to finally tell these people that becoming successful, rich and famous cannot cure anyone's inferiority complex, anymore than Travolta's homosexuality can be cured by him joining Scientology.
"Made" has its fair share of cheating, like most reality shows. The narration is obviously scripted, bad intonation being a dead giveaway; the kids are apparently so daft that they need the MTV producers to tell them what to say about themselves and about what had transpired during their less-than-successful 6-week ordeals. Also, whenever there is a school contest of some sort at the end of an episode, MTV uses its hardly negligible leverage to get their talentless doofus to do well, occasionally even getting them to win over their far far better competition. I mean, it's so transparent... A typical example is the overweight, limp-wristed wanna-be ballroom dancer who won second place at his school's talent-show in spite of being less graceful than the dancing hippo in Disney's "Fantasia".
While some of those kids may think they really won at the end, it's a hollow victory; usually a temporary boost of confidence that must wane as soon as they're back in harsh MTV-less reality. After all, no amount of coaching can change one's DNA... Delta (fe)males will not become alphas no matter what they do.
For my music-related rants go to: http://rateyourmusic.com/~Fedor8
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