Wednesday, September 20, 2006

America's Next Top Model (Cycle 7) - 7x01 "The Girl Who Marks Her Territory"

My PopMatters review! Read why I thought the premiere sucked!

I'm particularly fond of the following point, which didn't make the final draft:

And although a “hit dramality series” isn’t the forum in which to confront sociological realities, the semifinalists who share a sob story aren’t shedding light on social iniquity, since Top Model often elides the most disturbing details for the sake of palatable entertainment. Instead, some girls must abase themselves before Tyra so that the retired supermodel, like a maternal Pygmalion, can rebuild their characters from scratch. For example, take “homeless to Homecoming queen” semifinalist Leangela, about whom one of the judges Jay Manuel explicitly says, “If Leangela made it to the next round in this competition, it would almost give her that boost of confidence, and I think we would see her just take off.” After ritually compelling her to air her sad history during the interview, Jay and (implicitly) Tyra consider using the show to rehabilitate Leangela into a top model and, by extension, a successful social being.

After the overwhelming, over-the-top, and fulsome premiere, I still have serious questions about the upcoming cycle.

1. Will identical twins Amanda and Michelle (whom I call “Shandi 1” and “Shandi 2”) be eliminated in consecutive weeks?

2. Will perky, rhyme-dropping Brooke ever improve her flow?

3. Monique is not that pretty.

I know that number 3 isn't a question, but seriously, she's very average-looking.

Indie rating: El Perro Del Mar - "Here Comes That Feeling"

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