I watched this show in response to comments I heard about one of the Alts. The Alts represent people who live alternative lifestyles. Five of them, a naturist, a vampire, a voodoo priestess, a modern primitive, and a witch, live in a house into which ten guests were invited to stay, in order to compete for a prize of $100,000.00. My main issue of disappointment with the process was that the alts seem to vary between eliminating contestants based upon the contestant's acceptance of, disdain for, or participation in alternative lifestyles, measure of personal growth, or a determination that personal growth had been achieved therefore leaving no further room for growth. It was irritating to deal with their vacillating. The competitions were quite shocking, although I must confess to not watching reality TV, and therefore don't know how extreme these shows can be.
Unfortunately, there was very little presented that I could take as an actual example of an alternative lifestyle, and so really had to consider it a show about contestants competing to impress a group of eccentrics taking to extremes the stereotypical associations of their claimed beliefs and philosophies. The most realistic characters were Art and Avocado, who both seemed very much to represent themselves as normal people living their lives, while participating in lifestyles and rituals that held meaning for them personally. I would like to get to know either of them. And I felt that should have been the point. Don was an interesting character, and may very well live typically of self-made vampires. I don't know. But his behavior was extreme and one of his rituals appeared to be very irresponsible. Ta'Shia was kind hearted, but seemed much more interested in how guests treated her than in teaching anything about her religion. Other than a few stone casts, incense and feathers, I wasn't exposed to any positive attribute of voodoo or voudoun, and it is truly an amazing and interesting religion.
As for Fiona Horne, I was appalled by both her behavior as a member of the Alts, and even more by her irreverent representation of witches. I watched this show to challenge a statement that she set back people's view of modern witches by decades, and, unfortunately, that is correct. Presented with an opportunity to share Wicca as a viable alternative lifestyle and religion, she squandered it by being petty, pushing people into ritual situations that were inappropriate, and by refusing to recognize that some people's beliefs prohibit participating in witchcraft. She was petulant, selfish, dressed ridiculously, focused on the false attentions of a young man who repeatedly pointed out to the camera that he was playing her, and by being jealous of the attractive female guests. This was most disappointing as I am a witch, and there's enough difficulty already in getting people to realize that we live normal everyday lives all around you, as your doctors, retailers, hairstylists, babysitters, secretaries, plumbers, and coffee preparers.
Ultimately this was entertaining, and I watched through to the end.
What I think would make this show great, and probably all other reality shows set up similarly, would be to bring in the Alts and film them watching the show as it aired. Seeing them react to what was going on between the contestants, and what was said about them behind their backs, would definitely make for an evening of entertaining reality.
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