Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Five Cents: The Paper...

It's a real shame when today's society (and by that, I mean the entertainment media) gravitates toward (and by that, I mean caters to) the glossy, melodramatic, and sensational rather than the substantial but at times, serious. It's a shame, then, that The Real World, which glorifies the drinking and random sex of young people, gets a twenty-first season, and The Paper, which focused on some very driven, very intelligent young people, was only given eight episodes and probably won't be back for another season.

Sure, it's a lot easier to find seven mactors willing to relocate for a few months to get a chance to party on national television than to convince a school board to allow a three-camera setup (and therefore three-ring circus) into their classrooms, but the kids of The Paper were those boys and girls next door with whom you felt like you actually could have gone to high school (actually Dan did look an awful lot like my friend Scott from back then, and Adam reminded me of Tommy-- not people you probably know, but it was thrilling for me to see nonetheless because they were far less stereotypical than one would assume to allow the "average" viewer to relate). They each were studious but not depicted as nerds: in fact, the first episode showed them playing good old-fashioned beer pong at some house party (though MTV was very careful not to show any actual bottles or kegs, but we all know what goes inside those red, plastic cups!). They were the anti-Hills and deserve to be celebrated, not shuffled off to the archives of MTV reality history, for it! They celebrated fellow students who were musical prodigies or got perfect SAT scores; they were in clubs outside of newspaper; they held interests outside of newspaper; and they were even celebrated during homecoming like any of the "cool" kids.

Considering the finale aired last week, it may seem like I jumped on The Paper's bandwagon a bit late... it may seem that way because it is that way. But the episodes are airing on MTV On Demand through June 1st, and they are also on mtv.com, so you have ample time and opportunity to check them out and start sending in your Number 2 pencils or whatever to MTV to demand a second season.

2 comments:

Jess said...

No shout out to the one who got you hooked on the show in the first place? : ) I agree with you, it is unfortunate but true that in all media, be it reality tv, print, or tv news, young people who are driven and successful are never going to be the center of attention, even though they are much more common in the real world than the crazy fame whores and sweet 16ers. I just wish shows like "The Paper" and movies like "Spellbound" could persuade more viewers that eccentric smart people are just as entertaining as eccentric self-centered people.

Lovebabz said...

Hey TV is a business and as such they want to make all the benjamins they can. SEX sells. Young Adults(kids) having sex sells. Being obnoxious on TV price-less!

If they could find a way to make sexy smart or smart sexy then maybe they you would see shows refelecting that. (sigh)

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