Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Colonial House

I'm kind of tuckered out on reality tv, so I won't do a typical post in favor of a more meta-commentary on the show. "Tuckered out on reality tv" isn't wholly accurate -- it has a lot to do with the nature of Colonial House itself. Unlike Survivor, which has a lot more free time, Colonial House is all about nonstop work (unsurprising given the Puritan angle). Also note that the appeal of Survivor (lasting or not) is the vicariousness of the situation -- an experience into which we the audience can and would not mind projecting ourselves. But considering the grueling labor of Colonial House, our involvement at most becomes observational because, who wants to willfully imagine him/herself into servitude? There exists in Colonial House an implicit preferential distance that prevents the viewer from fully empathizing with what the colonists are going through. It's still reality tv though, and I've been trained to connect myself to the cast's experience to the point that I do it more or less unconsciously, thus my fatigue at the end of each episode (which also happens to be 2 hours??).

No comments: