Monday, December 03, 2007

TV: Musings on "Beauty and the Geek"

There's something inherently divisive about reality shows. In the course of watching one, the participants often have some outrageous characteristic or make some crazy comment (Rich going buck-naked on "Survivor," for example) that puts them into a "love to hate" or "hate to love" slot. It's almost certainly a calculated move by the producers to get people to root for (or jeer) certain characters.

The show "Beauty and the Geek," while not a good reality show, is a good example of this phenomenon. It features a "Beauty" (a pretty and popular girl) and a "Geek" (a socially inept guy). There's already a gender bias - you see, the "Geeks" are almost never girls because it's difficult to find a geeky girl that many guys wouldn't sleep with anyway. Then, when you add in the social cliques that seem to exist in high schools all over the place, you get instant identification with the people on screen.

Strangely enough, though, the eliminations are done using a quiz show-like format for both the Beauty and the Geek. It'd be much more realistic to send the Geek into a social situation where he has to perform a task rather than have him compete at what is essentially a multiple-choice test. In any event, I'll probably never have occasion to go on this show; not because I'm not a geek (good Lord, look at this blog), but because I'm not willing to send in a crappy audition tape like this one:

3 Comments:

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous necrooookiecrisps said...

A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila is a far more fascinating reality TV show. It's a social experiment! In a box! It's LARPing and the GM is a sadistic petite bitch! In a swimsuit and high heels! Augh! Run away! Or towards! Maybe! STD testing first before we decide!

Beauty and the Geek. Man. Where to begin? Any girl that is going to be decent enough to make it on reality TV (i.e., not obese or too psychologically damaged) is going to be someone a reasonable amount of dudes want to sleep with anyway, regardless of geek-ness. Any geek that makes it on reality TV isn't going to be that genuinely socially inept. The concept would be interesting, maybe, though the execution is poor. Here's another problem: you can make the beauties feel stupid so that they empathize with the geeks a little, but you cannot rig it so the geeks understand the bad side of being a hot chick. Empathy is being inflicted on half the group, and not the half of the group that's likely to remember it for long.

[Also, is it petty to comment that the hot chicks usually aren't that hot? It is, isn't it? Damn.]

I did, however, once watch an episode of this that I loved. They took the girls and dressed them in stupid, out dated, seriously unflattering clothes. They acted like if their skin touched the fabric too much, they would catch The Frump and die. Fucking hilarious. They then sent the girls into a bar, and they had to compete for who could get the most drinks.

They brought BUCKETS of fail, fail, and fail, with an extra small side of fail. One resorted to: "So! Will you buy me a drink? Please?"

Was it hilarious? Yes. They had to, like, gosh, make conversation. And stuff.

Some of them cried.

At least one of them, anyway.

Afterwards, of course, the idea was "yeah, this is how we, the geek dudes, feel all the time. How about that?" And of course the girls are all, "OMG HOW AWFUL!"

Which is good. I approve. Let us empathize with the geeks of the world. They are pretty rad, most of the time.

However, in my lifetime I've made the transition from clever but unpopular fattie (definitely a geek) to neurotic and lonely fat girl, and then to naive shapely person with breasts, and finally to bitter pretty girl that gets hit on if she lingers at the bus stop/at the bookstore/most places.

And while it sucks to go "meh! I'm lonely! I will share emotional and intellectual intimacy with no one because I am socially ungainly and physically unattractive and this is UNFAIR," at least people easily acknowledge that it sucks. And there's the internet, and lots of other lonely people that feel like you do.

However, when you're neurotic and thin and fucking tired of people staring at your fucking tits all the time--
No one gives a shit. If you're distraught, if you're in tears because you're feeling honestly sexually harassed, if people bump into you to cop a feel and you're upset--
Everyone just wants you to shut the fuck up. Boo fucking hoo, quit whining, you silly slip of a girl. Hush! The hell are you upset about? Don't you appreciate the attention? You're asking for it, so why don't you like it? Bitch. I can't believe you, you spineless little sperm receptacle. Shut up.

So, there's not a lot of sympathy out there. And few people care to listen to your emotional or intellectual content: a pretty girl is assumed stupid until proven--
Until proven nothing. You can sit there in front of people people and say, yes, I know what a fucking quark is, quit being an asshole and assuming I don't know basic fucking shit, and people will still assume QUARK IS JUST A WORD YOU HEARD SOMEWHERE AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS AND YOU'RE JUST BEING SO *CUTE*!!11
Ahem.
Of course, eventually you grow tired of this and stop talking to people, appearing vacant and silent. At that point, really, people don't even need to try to discredit you. You're quiet and you're sexy; clearly you're empty headed. And can you blame people for thinking so, really?

A pretty girl is assumed stupid until it's sexy for her to be sort of smart in a particular area, usually the area which would allow her to properly appreciate the beholder.

This is not actually the same as not thinking she's stupid.

That said, I really do spend less time reading about quantum mechanics these days, and I spend a lot of time at the gym. So what am I doing to help the situation, exactly? I'm sitting here in silver leggings and high heels going all bombastic on the internet. Not useful.

Anyway, off the social angle before I start my diatribe on how unfair not just sexiness but actually admitting you have sex is a terrible, crippling thing for a girl but AWESOME if you are dude. You can, of course, picture me yelling for a while and waving my hands in the air. This is a reasonable substitution, amounts to much the same thing, and probably conveys roughly the same amount of information.

Anyway! Reality TV!

Tila Tequila's show is also called Bisexual Bachelorette I am hoping to watch the few episodes I have left soon! You should download it. It's fabulous and ridiculous and, may I add, fabulous? As well as ridiculous? And the hottest contestant on the show is a lesbian firefighter who is the most stylish shade of butch possible. Mrrrreow. (How butch can you be in a bikini top, though? Even in board shorts? I mean, I wandered through last year's warped tour in this fashion, feeling decidedly not butch.) There is also an awesome Italian (maybe) dude on the show, whom I picture each time someone mentions the Italian trophy husband of one of your professors from last year.

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

I'm pretty sure Dani is going to "win" the show, but there's no saying how long such a relationship will last. They do make a cute couple, though.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was betting on the amazonian blonde winning the show, even though I don't like her that much. Petite brunette + tall blonde making out is a very optimized combination for male attention. [You know, very Betty and Veronica. Except with height discrepancies and pseudo lesbianism.]
Possibly she's already left the show? In which case LAHLAHLAHICAN'THEARYOU.

I love Dani. I hardly ever like anyone on reality TV (and normal TV? also possibly IRL?), but she's just so adorable and I just want to give her hugsandhugsandhugs! Awwww. And she kisses Tila with the romantic boy kiss. Mwah mwah!
[it is neither a tentative girl kiss or a pushy boy kiss. it's a very specific kind of kiss.] Dani ftw! <3 <3

Did you like Domineco? We are big fans of his over here. We are hoping he is a theater major from, say, Idaho, and possibly has trouble finding Italy on a map. Also, wikipedia claims that he is getting his own show.

 

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