Thursday, November 30, 2006

America's Next Top Model (Cycle 7) - 7x10 "The Girl Who Grates"

Watching this episode, I realized that none of the girls have a character arc that actually develops or grows. Cycle 7 has characterized its contestants to a girl the same from episode 1 to the penultimate 10th episode, characterizations that contradict what I've been calling the show's Pygmalion complex (tearing (see the pun I made there?) the girls down so Tyra can remake them as self-sufficient, sexy, independent, and fully formed women-models). For instance, when Shandi 2 (i.e. Michelle, at least I think so) sort of came out, the show didn't pursue that angle any further (I'm not saying that ANTM should have made a continued fuss over her ambisexuality, just that they seemed to have ignored a possible arc with a built-in character arc). Even now at the final three, how have the girls grown, character-wise? Melrose is as "fake" and cloying as she was in the semifinals, Eugena has actually regressed in her trash talking, and CariDee has continued to be her loopy self.

By itself, however, an unchanging character arc isn't a death knell for a show -- but absent any other compelling quality on the show, it becomes an obvious shortcoming. Then again, this season is full of shortcomings, so maybe it's not so obvious after all -- after all, Eugena is in the top three? I don't think a project as raw as her has ever made it this far, which, yet again, demonstrates the dreg-like quality of the Cycle 7 contestants.

Top Model Parenthetical Rankings
1. CariDee (1) -- If the judges announce either of the two personality-less broads as the winner, I'm going to cry. Also, I forgot to mention in the previous post how CariDee seemed to be joshing with Nigel "Buttplug" Barker in an English accent.
2. Eugena (3) -- Moving on up only because the show is apparently positioning her as CariDee's buddy -- i.e. any friend of CariDee etc.
3. Melrose (2) -- More like Melbore!

Indie rating: Mogwai – "Wake Up And Go Berserk"

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