Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Just Plain Ugly: The Swan 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
The Chicago Maroon has a great op-ed piece by Whet Moser on the controversial FOX "reality" show, The Swan. I've posted on this blog before about Extreme Makeover, but the Maroon's Moser analyzes how The Swan takes this brand of Exploitive Crap™ to the next level:
The Swan is a crazed blend of fetish porn, marrying physical and emotional anguish to fantasies of control. One of my friends once pointed out that the whole undercurrent to the Coors Twins, Hef’s twins, the Doublemint girls, and other such male dreams is a devaluation of the individual, literalizing the objectification of sex through the implication of cloning. The generic ideal aimed for by the show’s hired guns gives the participants a mechanized look, botched only by the genetics that God punished them with. Though they’d obviously lack for business, the surgeons act as if they’d be happier if everyone looked a bit more alike, or if they could have just designed the damn contestants in the first place. Cross that with the show’s literal progression from pain to pleasure and you have The Swan, an S&M version of the American obsession with self-improvement, and further evidence of the fear and loathing at the heart of the American dream.
More about "reality TV" Crap™, this time from ABC: on farkleberriesUSA, details from Nate.