Reality TV has always held a special place in heart. Ever since as a small child i first watched an Arkansas red neck get tasered multiple times by police on “Cops” through to the sensitive relationship-advice/girl-fight-inciting “Cheaters” i have always made time in my schedule to watch a group of intellectually disabled exhibitionists in their natural environment.
The evolution didn’t stop there though as genius TV producers around the world schemed to make reality TV more interesting by making it faker. Enter the Reality Game Show, an oxymoron so retarded it couldn’t help but become a huge global TV phenomenon leading to a plethora of jaw-droppingly stupid contrivances to make people earn their 15 minutes of fame by paying with their dignity. “Big Brother”; “Survivor”; “The Bachelor”; “The Apprentice”; “Race around the World”; Rock of Love”; “Beauty and the Geek”; “Australian Princess”; “Ladette to Lady”; “Chains of Love”; “Farmer wants a Wife”; “The Biggest Loser” – the list goes on. Carefully vetted casts find the least stable narcissists all of these programs force people into unnatural situations and encourage them to act like badly written soap opera characters using a scientific blend of incentive and humiliation. Especially popular is putting opposing types of people together and forcing them in interact, i.e. racists and minorities; or homosexuals and homophobes. Very occasionally the results are worth watching, in the same way as the autopsies of victims who have died of an exotic disease, as a fascinating and retch inducing insight into the frailties of humanity. Most of the time it was simply incredibly tedious. Of course this combination of crushing boredom and the misery of others is narcotic to the average TV watching moron so a plethora of variations continue to emerge.
As any statistician worth their Informative and Non-Informative Priors knows, the larger a group gets the further and more extreme the edges become. Suddenly there were titles appearing like “Who wants to be a Porn Star” which is pretty self-explanatory; “Who’s your daddy” where an adult who was adopted at birth is placed in a room with 25 random men and if they guess which one is the biological father they win $100,000;and last but most disturbing “The Swan” which featured a group of women unhappy with their appearance who go through several cosmetic surgery procedures and then compete in a beauty pageant at the end to see who has become the lovely swan and who is still an ugly duckling. For some reason the PTC and other guardians-of-taste groups were silent about this latter program and its obvious intent to incite suicide, for some reason choosing instead to boycott Brittany Spears latest fragrance because she admitted to having a vagina. Thankfully audiences were even less enthused and FOX canceled the show after only 2 seasons.
Dr Terry J Dubrow, not satisfied with the brevity of his work on “The Swan” teamed up with Cris Abrego and Mark Cronin of 51 Minds Entertainment to create the ultimate reality game show, a kind of freebased reality show that would include only the best elements of all that had gone before and leave the viewer curled into a fetal position and viciously scratching at themselves in a feeble attempt to get clean. The result was “Bridalplasty”.
Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day but for the women competing on ‘Bridalplasty’ only perfection will do. Show brings together engaged women who are seeking complete image transformations before their big day. They want the dream wedding and the dream body to go along with it. These brides-to-be are willing to do whatever it takes to beat the competition in order to get that perfection. Throughout the show, as they put together their dream wedding, each week one lucky bride will also get one piece of her dream body, going under the knife for one of the surgeries off her wish list. The last bride standing will have the opportunity to have an extreme plastic surgery makeover and win a wedding fit for the stars where she will unveil her shocking new look for the very first time to the man that she’s about to marry
It sounds great doesn’t it? Due to the baffling oversight of Australian free-to-air networks passing on this show, and Foxtel only now getting it’s act together to broadcast the first season I have not actually seen the show. However I have known about it for some time and use it as one of my personal signs of the coming apocalypse, along with cyclones, floods, fires, locusts etc. The punditry were not kind. It scored 21 on metacritic with the “Time” reviewer James Poniewozik saying*:
Bridalplasty essentially takes every misogynistic premise that has been baked into any reality show, ever, and combines them: the focus on appearance, the stereotype of the bridezilla, the validation of one’s worth through one’s boobs and the bogus fairy-tale warped into a celebration of consumerism—here, that “Every bride wants to look perfect on her wedding day,” and so should write a check to her cosmetic surgeon, stat.
The best bit is the perverse, Black-Swanlike obsession with perfection. When the Brides are voted off after losing a challenge they are told “You will get to have your wedding, it just won’t be perfect.” Ouch.
So set your Foxtel Tivo gadgets to record on March 2nd, i will be back with a full review and we can all celebrate!
El Bludgerino (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing)