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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Reality TV

I'm at home right now watching the Today show (why? It annoys me so much!). Al Roker (a large part of my annoyance) is interviewing someone from Top Chef. The dude said that for this season, they are "deepening the talent pool" by asking big name chefs to nominate sous chefs.

I almost wish they'd shallow it (and as a caveat, I don't watch Top Chef - but I did watch, and love, the PBS version, "Cooking under fire"). It seems to me it would be way more fun watching amateur cooks than professional ones. Why not have people like me have to do cooking competitions each week where they are challenged to use a unique cooking method, or a unique set of ingredients. It would be more accessible - likely some really interesting clutziness, and likely some fun drama that would be less about hurting your competition and more about cooking and the challenges of cooking.

Elsewhere, someone suggested that an interesting reality tv concept would be an advertising world-centric reality show. I think that would be spectacular. It would be interesting to watch people come up with ad campaigns, commercials, etc. I know at times that's what they do on the apprentice - but I hate that show. Plus, I'd rather see creative types doing it.

Last night I watched part of "On the lot" for the first time. Have any of you watched it? Great concept, bad execution at the reality tv shenanigans. Aspiring filmmakers have challenges each week to create a specific type of film. One of my favorites last night was a musical about a bakery. I actually ended up voting (you can watch all the films on the website thelot.com) because the judges really put down one of the few women directors, and exalted one of the others (whose film I really disliked). I thought that the one they denigrated did a clever little film, albeit an unprofessional one. It was called "The first time I met the Friedmans" and was about the first time "the girlfriend" met the family. The acting was self-conscious (the director lives in a small town in New Hampshire - so she doesn't have access to true actors), and the cinematography was not great - but the script was fun and I cringed and empathized with the characters.

One of the films the judges liked was pure misogyny and stereotype. That's the main reason why I voted - I don't want a filmmaker who does such films to be on the show.


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