WHEN: November 30th, 6:45 pm EST, 2012
WHERE: Number 1
FORMAT: DVD via my Xbox on Teletraan 1
COMPANY: Sam, my grandfather’s dog.
REACTIONS OF NOTE:
- Is a wonder that at this point Truman’s opening speech is not motivating at all?
- I wonder if Truman has actually ever been to Harbor Island.
- A trip to Fiji would cost less than a baby.
- Even after all this time, I still find the love scene between Truman and Sylvia very creepy.
- The store Truman meets Marlene and when Marlin is stocking candy bars reminds me of the store in the first Red Dawn.
I don’t really know how much more I can say about The Truman Show. I don’t. It seems that my thoughts on the movie had started to harden and can not really be changed at this stage of the game. So, let’s talk about what other people think about the movie and how they are wrong. I’ve seen a lot of people credit The Truman Show with predicting the rise in reality television of the late ’90s, early 2000s. Though it is true that it seems that reality television took off after The Truman Show was released, this is not the case. Peter Weir did not predict anything. In fact, reality TV shows, in one form or another, have been around since the 1970s. Specifically, in 1973 PBS came out with An American Family. This was a 12-part documentary look at the lives of the Loud family. It was set around a group of white American suburbanites that mainly sat around talking. The two notable events during the run of the show were the coming out announcement of one of the sons, and the father and mother filing for divorce in the second-to-last episode, setting the trend for all married couples that have had a reality TV shows since.
A snowball in hell has a better chance at a happy ending.
This all happened 25 years before The Truman Show and it could be argued that it was popular. The show spawned a spin-off series on the BBC called The Family, a spoof movie version, as well as a sequel series that picked up 10 years later on HBO. When you start to really think about it, it seems The Truman Show is based off of An American Family. An average suburban neighborhood where a lot of drama goes on behind the scenes. The Loud family had the coming out of their son and their divorce to deal with, while Truman had the drowning of his father happen right in front of him. I would still like to argue that having one event happen to you in your 30 years of existence does not make you entertaining.
The more direct influence of An American Family was its inspiration of MTV’s creation of The Real World in 1992. The creators of The Real World directly cite An American Family as such. There isn’t anyone who can argue that The Real World was and still is popular. It may have been eclipsed by newer forms of reality TV, but everything is overtaken eventually. Currently there are plans for a 2013 season, thus making The Real World 28 years old. It should be noted that MTV thought this was quite a great idea and in 1995 started production on Road Rules. This was a show in which they brought together five strangers (or as I like to call them, potential dickheads) and put them in an RV with no money. The producers then told them they had to get from one destination to another. Their progress was based upon how well they could complete team-based challenges. Personally, I always like the idea of Road Rules more than The Real World. Putting five strangers in a car, without giving them any gas money, to get them to complete teamwork challenges is a lot more fun when they all turn out to be dicks. If you put them in a house and they are bastards to each other, they can just go drink in a corner and cry themselves to sleep. When everyone has been crammed into the tight quarters of an RV, someone is more likely to flip out and murder a fellow cast member.
Just like this, but in a car with a stale burrito.
The main reason why I think The Truman Show is credited with starting the reality TV craze is not many people were paying attention to it as a medium before the movie. There were a handful of reality TV shows prior to 1998. After The Truman Show exposed the medium to the masses, the television viewing audience was gifted with an explosion of reality-based shows. The Truman Show didn’t necessarily predict the explosion but more brought it upon the television nation. Reality TV is cheap, easy to produce, and lots of people like to watch it (for some reason I can not fathom). High ratings plus low cost equals big profits for TV executives. Television being much like Hollywood, they quickly followed the model of doing exactly what the other guy is succeeding at. Everyone needs their slice of the pie, after all. There were even shows that cited The Truman Show as a direct influence. So, if you’re dissatisfied with the current state of television and its over-saturation of reality-based shows, you only have The Truman Show to blame.