Monday, February 09, 2004
Disgusted With Television, Part 1 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
For the past few years I've had a love-hate relationship with television, especially with the rise of "Reality TV." Normally, I avoid this genre of programming like the plague, but last Thursday I got sucked into watching an episode of Extreme Makeovers, where each week a couple of quite-plain-to-reasonably-attractive individuals subject their bodies to a massive plastic surgery and body-modification assault in the name of homogenized beauty and advertising revenue.

The program has a bizarre Brave New World aspect {cheery people going under the knife, displayed on a 3D computerized layout} that makes you rub your eyes and wonder if you're not watching some awful sci-fi show about a dystopian future, where everyone looks like Sigfried and Roy. And I mean everyone.

Then it hits me: I've seen this before - in the movie Logan's Run.

The particular episode {of Extreme Makeovers, not Logan's Run} I watched featured a couple who had been dating for about 3 years; each of them had been very obese until a recent massive weight loss, and had apparently never dated anyone until they found each other. He was in his early thirties, she nine years older and obviously very insecure about her aging. At a joint birthday party for the couple, they were surprised with the news that they had been selected for a His'n'Hers Extreme Makeover® - with Matching Fairy Tale Disneyland Wedding™!.

Don't get me wrong, they were both rather normal-looking geeky folks in love, and I'm not against plastic surgery per se, but the array of surgeries they each had performed equalled a serious car wreck: nose jobs, chin jobs, cheekbone implants, full-body liposuction, breast reduction for him and matching implants for her, hair extensions and implants, dental veneers and laser hair removal and vision correction surgery. Of course, the entire show is liberally sprinkled with infomercial-style plugs for the "surgeons to the stars."

Result? Both ended up looking like department store mannequins. At the "grand unveiling" at the Disneyland altar they didn't recognize each other, and for good reason.

Her face looked like a cross between Cher's tucked-n-pulled puss and Sissy Spacek's, and he looked like...well...I can't say what he looked like. Let's just say with his new highlighted hair, neon-bright tooth veneers, pancake foundation and fresh-out-of-the-box cheekbones he wouldn't have looked out of place in a Disney cartoon. The parents of the intended were stunned at how their kids looked, and you could have knocked them over with a feather. The father of the groom appeared to be reaching for his champagne glass every few seconds afterwards: Is it my fault? Is it my wife's? This is what we get for letting him sing "Copacabana" in that 5th grade talent show. My God, what will the neighbors think.

If my kid underwent that much surgery to looklike that, I'd have asked for the whole bottle: screw the Veuve, give me the Bourb.