Tuesday, 24 August 2010

RadioTimes @ xmas

In preparation for a trip to New York I will be doing next month (staying in Brooklyn for 10 days, hit me back if you wanna hook up) have been watching some of the finest US reality TV available. The two shows really, I think from my very ltd experience or knowledge, really do cover the true range of Western experience. Worry and happiness and greed and failure and envy and joy and excitement and imagination, taking pleasure in the simplest of things but also being an empty egg with a glowing shell.

The name of one of these shows is 'Work of Art'. The other is called 'Man v Food'.

I get excited when I watch these two shows. One is about creating and the other is about consuming, how perfect is that? But, y'know, they are really both about creating and both about consuming. How perfect perfect I'd that?

Sure the one guy is eating a bunch of food that is really a big fuck you to poor people, but it took someone else's brains and hands to make that meal happen. A tattooed and moustachioed man, or a big fat black woman, or an immigrant or something, standing in a restaurant kitchen looks at a plate and says "we can fit more on that plate, we can build upwards." Seems 'urban America', the vertical thrust of skyscrapers meaning a more-than-efficient use of space, both aggressive and excessive. And of course try and chilli pepper yourself to death.

'Work of Art' is maybe the most apt of titles. Premise is: 10 or 12 artists, working in various styles and media, with varying degrees of success, eliminate them one by one following a series of awkward tasks, make them bitch about each other. Artists are silly and jealous and competitive and always angry. If they fail to show any one of these things then they aren't really an artist at all, not really. All of the characters are loveable and laughable at the same time, OCD+ADHD brush up against arrogance and naivety and vanity. And there are prizes! A high profile solo exhibition as well as money. And on one episode a guy won the chance to have his work on the front cover of a Penguin book, and that excited me a lot. A LOT.

One woman got all pissy about how one of the challenges was too commericial or something. I'm pretty sure there was excitement on her face when Sarah Jessica Parker made an appearance.

I don't know. I like it.


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