Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why I like 'Flipping Out'

A friend of mine won't watch the show Flipping Out (new episode airs tonight on Bravo) because he says it makes him nervous watching Jeff Lewis' obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This is why I like the show. Don't we all know someone just a little bit like Jeff Lewis?

The reality genre itself is more "fake" than "real" -- chock full of producer-created drama and shallow dramatics involving narcissistic fame-seekers playing to the camera in the hopes of becoming "a star."

My sense is that although these qualities are present to some extent on Flipping Out, viewers nevertheless see an accurate portrait of the main subject.

Why? Because I suspect that the needless drama and conflict Lewis fosters on the show would be happening regardless of whether the camera was rolling. Lewis really is as he appears on his reality TV show. The camera is capturing his quirks, his personality, his disorders.

I find this interesting. It's like real "reality-like" reality TV. For a change. Think about that when some intentionally-bad phony gets air time on America's Got Talent or American Idol or some "houseguest" quite purposefully goes into Hyper-Bitch mode on Big Brother just to stoke up their own air time.

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