Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stylista - 1x08 "The Right Fit"

In perhaps the ultimate twist of reality tv irony, the most professional and drama-averse contestant in a crowd of half-talented, back-stabbing, petty, infantile, entitled, short-sighted, misanthropic, misogynist, profligate goons and goonettes took home the top prize*, and cold is the heart that didn't skip a beat when Johanna sat at her desk and gazed with starry eyes at her new gig.

I've been conditioned by the prodigious amounts of reality tv I've watched to automatically assume that her choices in the final task would implode spectacularly. Seemingly putting all her eggs into the structured + purple basket? Monopolizing creative input? Th-th-that's reality tv hubris! But Stylista -- or, rather, Elle -- exists in the real world, too, and in the real world, spelling counts.

Less glibly, I'm struggling to disentangle Johanna's two decisions and place them back in a workplace context; I can see the purple/structured gambit as a savvy move, risky yet borne out of her confidence, but when she marginalized her assistants, I read her move as "doesn't play well with others," and I'm still surprised that Joe Zee and what'shermanagingeditorface saw it as an example of bold leadership. On the other hand, they didn't see how, through sheer force of will, Johanna extinguished a percolating crisis -- of which Megan was dying to be the center** -- so positive and negative cancel out.

* That's an analogy to half a dozen different things that have happened these last couple months, not the least of which was the vote that determined our new winner of Survivor
** Here's a tip: if you're going to quit a reality show, just leave, don't go for the histrionics of trying to get the cameras to stop filming your exit, and under no circumstances should you go back up the center of action to give yourself a dramatic send off... only to be talked out of it. Also, it's pretty clear that Megan has never interviewed for a real job.

Indie rating: Paula Frazer & Tarnation - "Pretend"


momo said...

This is the one show (other than the Simpson) that my daughter was actually into, so I was glad that Johanna won instead of the three saboteurs (and I did provide running commentary on how NOT to interview, but who knows if she listened). Besides winning my heart be being an intellectual who sepaks another language, she is a great combination of heart-on-her-sleeve desire and professionalism. Whatever she doesn't know about the job yet, she has shown she can learn, whereas the others were just... what you said.

momo said...

Yikes, the typos! sorry