Pick us, pick us Mr. Reality TV producer. We can be happy, sad, single or very open (if you get the drift). Straight, gay, angry and poor, angry and rich, happy and rich, happy and poor (well, that would be a stretch and would cost extra).
How about the hermit crab who comes out of his shell this summer or the girl who trades in her bikini and beach volleyball for muck boots and milking cows? It’s up to you.
Vegan, Paleolithic, breatharian, Rastafarian, trustafarian or a bevy of boarding school Snookies, it’s all good? Or not. The Situation meets the Situation Room? Think Wolf Blitzer at 21, baby-faced and wrestling with dark summer nights of the soul — political animal or party animal, you decide! It’s a ratings lock.
And so it goes, perhaps, as Islanders head to the casting call today at the Mansion House for the proposed reality TV series to be shot on the Vineyard. The show is unscripted, producers say, but rumors abound about prospective cast members being asked to embrace preordained plot points, love triangles and narrative arcs.
The response to the show, in this newspaper and on social media, has been largely negative. And yet while so many openly decry reality TV shows, the ratings prove that under the cover of anonymity we can’t stop watching.
The reality is that most likely the show will neither be the end of the Vineyard as we know it nor an innocuous bit of fluff. The show will be filmed on our shores and feature actual Islanders. Whether we will recognize ourselves and our community amid the massaging of reality and exaggerating of stereotypes is another story.
For some it will be similar to Five Corners in August, a sore point but something we have learned to live with, mostly by avoiding it altogether. For others it will be must-see TV or, better yet, if picked to be a member of the cast the potential ticket to the big time.
The final analysis is yet to come. Meanwhile, see you at the Mansion House, but please, don’t tell Mom.