Tag Archives: Amish Mafia

The Unreality of Reality Television

19 Dec

December 19, 2012

There is nothing real about reality television. That is why shows like Keeping Up with The Kardashians are not called documentaries.

There is nothing real about reality television.

Dave Hester of Storage Wars is suing the show for seeding valuable items in the “locked and unopened” storage lockers they bid on. (http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/12/11/torage-wars-star-dave-hester-says-show-is-fake-suing-report-says/)

TLC’s new show, Amish Mafia, is actually a “recreation” using actors, although the network claims the stories are real. (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/amish-mafia-taking-care-business-amish-country-135820402–abc-news-tv.html)

TruTV, ironically, airs all kinds of “reality television,” but they are so far from reality that they had to make up yet another term. Now Operation Repo is known as “Actuality.” And yes, Operation Repo is scripted. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Repo)

Breaking Amish featured one cast member who was not Amish, and another who was not what she claimed at all. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/breaking-amish-rebecca-divorced-video_n_1999071.html)

I was watching an episode of Storage Wars Texas, which is a Storage Wars spinoff, when I saw the following scene. A cast member bid on and won a locker. He went inside to see what he bought but there was a large screen in the middle blocking the rest of the locker. He went up to it and peered through one of the slats and a huge grin crossed his face and he yelped for joy. There was something good in there, of course. So what was the problem? It was filmed from the reverse angle. In other words, we saw him open the slats and grin from the other side of the screen, from a camera angle from the back of the locker. There was already a camera in the back of the locker set up to get that shot! And “set up” is the right term. Obviously the producers and directors and camera men and the bidder too knew what was in the locker and worked to create the best shot they could. So where is the reality?

I’ve written a lot about so-called reality television, predominately American Chopper, but I also recapped a full season (the only season) of Scrappers. I live in the exact area where that show was filmed and took a lot of nonsense from people writing in to defend the “reality” of the show. (https://bmj2k.com/2010/09/23/scrappers-mail-letters-from-people-who-love-scrappers-and-hate-me/) Trust me, I know what was fake on that show.

Then there is Hardcore Pawn, a show I wrote about once and only once yet is one of my most popular blogs. (https://bmj2k.com/2011/07/18/my-review-of-hardcore-pawn/) One of the most popular searches that lead people to it is “why do they always wear the same clothes?” The answer is because the show is heavily edited. What looks like happens in one day really often takes place over weeks and weeks. They need to wear the same clothes during filming so you don’t notice the editing. Do they get a lot of weird people? Yes they do. But their producers search out many more to come in.

Long Island Medium is a classic fake, with a scam whose history goes back centuries yet people still fall for it. Do just a little research, you can do what she does with a fair bit of success yourself. I’ve done it, you can be a medium too.  (https://bmj2k.com/2011/10/24/my-review-of-long-island-medium-3/)

Watch any Real Housewives– they are all acting for the camera. Situations are clearly and obviously set up. Most reality shows look fake because they are fake. Period.

Somehow even The Apprentice, a show I wrote about many, many times and I am sure I will write about many more, is called reality television. How? (https://bmj2k.com/2012/10/17/the-celebrity-apprentice-all-stars/)

Deadliest Catch is the show I consider closest to reality. The job is so dangerous anyone would be insane to let the producers direct the action, and the captains have too much money on the line to allow it. But a show like that is also heavily edited, and much of the personal drama amped up and exaggerated.

So I for one am glad that American Chopper is over. Am I biting the hand that feeds me? No, I never hid my disdain for that show. But if anyone writes to this blog again defending anyone on reality television again, I want you to include your latest medical reports because you must be nuts.

American Chopper: CHOPPER LIVE! (PART TWO)

11 Dec

December 10, 2012

Check THIS OUT for the Part One recap!
Keep checking in as I will update this as the show progresses.


build off

OCC built- finally!- a bike this time. Too bad it isn’t that great a bike. Senior and his monkey-hybrid son Jason were too busy making up lousy pranks than to come up with a good bike. It is an overbuilt, undersized monstrosity.

PJD did what they usually do, and that is why the will likely win.

Jesse James built his bike nearly from scratch- points for that- but took two weeks too long- take those points back. At the end of the day it was not worth the wait.

Fast N’ Loud build a bike. A nice, basic, cool bike. But American Chopper fans like what Paulie does and the FNL bike will be too plain for them. BTW, they named their bike Fred.


chopper live logo

Tonight we are live from Las Vegas!

Your host… Sal Masekela. Who? Whatever.

Paulie gets introduced simply as “Junior.” The crowd goes nuts.
Fast N’ Loud gets introduced. The crowd goes a little less nuts. Richard Rawlings looks like he went Hollywood years ago.
Senior gets introduced simply as “Senior.” The crowd gave him a mixed reception.
Jesse James got introduced to more boos than cheers and they teased that he wasn’t even there, but he was.

Sal Whoever said the big question was if Jesse could overcome the haters for the win. I’d rather see if Senior can do that. Anyway, there is yet a second vote tonight- the other three teams will get to vote if Jesse James gets to compete or gets disqualified for missing the deadline. He’ll get voted in, no drama here.

If you saw part one, take a trip to the kitchen as they are showing a video package right now, mostly stuff you heard last night.

No, Sal Masekela is not the guy who plays Darryl on The Office. That’s Craig Robinson.


Last night Jesse offered to tutor Paulie. Tonight Paulie offered to tutor Jesse so he can make a deadline. Jesse’s response? “I got no answer, you got me.”

Allegedly a fight broke out between the FNL guys and Jesse. The FNL guys had no comment on stage, but Jesse said “BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEEEEEEP,” which is what he usually says.

I think the funny thing is that Jesse, Senior, and the FNL guys keep stressing it is a bike building contest. This is the American Chopper audience and, many smart commenters on this blog aside, the majority of American Chopper fans treat this like a popularity contest.

Senior looked at the FNL bike and asked “What is it?” I wanted to yell out “a real bike!”
Aaron: “Senior looks a lot bigger on TV.”

Senior gave some criticism of the FNL bike but Aaron schooled him, and about time. Bottom line: He rode the bike thousands of miles to Vegas, Senior’s bike came on the back of a truck. His is made to ride, Senior’s is made to put a smile on Jason’s goofy face.

Senior’s bike was introduced and Senior had a lot more applause than last year. Of course, it helped that he went for the cheap pop (“this is made in America!”).

Senior and Junior, together on stage, were a lot more natural and playful than we’ve seen in a decade. And speaking of playful, this may be my last chance to run this picture of Senior, which ran in one of my Celebrity Apprentice blogs:


Meanwhile, it is time for Lynyrd Skynyrd!
He pretty much just went through the motions.

Then they had a recap of the ten years of American Chopper and reminded us that there is ONE MORE episode of Chopper next week. No description yet, but the title is “The End.” From the looks of the commercials it appears to mostly be a clip show.

And now it is time! Time to find out if Jesse James gets eliminated.
Paulie voted no.
Senior voted no.
Fast N’ Loud voted no.

Or, I should say, Discovery said no. Jesse stays in.

Meanwhile, it is 10:12. The Build-Off is coming to a head!

But first more Skynyrd.

And now a sneak peek at Discovery’s new show, Amish Mafia.
Yes, you read that right.

And now more commercials!


10:25 and we’re back!

Second Place: Fast N’ Loud!


See you next week for the final Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride Weekly Rundown!

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