Cameras capture light, light reflects off surfaces — and that, dear readers, is where Reality Television must halt, unable to penetrate any further.
Try as you might, you simply can’t suck a person’s inner life into a videocamera, smash it into a million pixels, and then project what remains onto a TV screen. Scientifically impossible, I say! Instead, all you can hope to capture are those aforementioned surfaces; all you can show are actions, not thought.
Not thoughts, hopes, and dreams, but cussing, fighting, and drinking: these are the building blocks of reality TV personhood, made available to editors for endless stacking and restacking until something like a character gets formed.
Someone like Snooki from Jersey Shore is an editor’s dream. She’s a wholly external creature: impulse translates directly into speech and action without the delay of unfilmable, tempering contemplation. And when Snooki acts, she acts BIG. To laugh is to snort, to drink is to guzzle, to cuss is to emit more [BLEEPS] per minute than a turn-of-the-century telegraph operator.
Snooki, in short, has a Reality Television “personality” – which is to say, an extreme one. Jane Randall ’12 does not, as America’s Next Top Model’s judges have remarked again and again, especially on tonight’s episode, which saw her land in the bottom two come elimination time for that very reason.