Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Horror: E!'s "Hot Girls in Scary Places" and the "Ohmigod" factor

tv--I don't know whether this show is the worst/best thing on television now, or if it's just total crap. Are they kidding? Surely, they are, but don't be so sure. That "reality tv" has that same revolting-yet-hypnotizing quality that infomercials once--once?!--had is one of its hallmark features.

I've had the misfortune to (un)watch several of these so-called paranormal investigator programs, and like most people over the age of 13, I think it's all faked, played-up, and basically a bunch of aspiring actors doing a very bad job at appearing to believe it's all real. That's called "acting," by-the-way.

The premise is exactly what you would think: a bunch of vacuous models are taken to some "haunted" building for the night where lots of people were alleged to have died violently, or whatever. Yeah, whatever is right. OK, so it's just a pilot, so let's hope it dies the death that "Survivor" should have nine years ago. Give them a head full of acid, I say, then those gals will believe the place is haunted. Viewers might try the same, but I don't advocate the use of psychedelics.

But I should really be fair here...and brutally crucify the creators of the show. A brief explication of "Hot Girls in Scary Places" is in order:

The show stars three University of Southern California cheer squad friends challenged to spend the night in a supposedly haunted abandoned hospital for a cash prize of $10,000 (which would pay for maybe half a semester at USC). To get the prize, the trio will have to complete a series of challenges.
“They’re totally scared, and totally believe experiences they’re going through,” says executive producer Gary Auerbach [Ed.--He has a Facebook account!]. “They’ll get scared and then be talking about a sorority party coming up. It’s a little bit 'Scooby Doo'-ish.” ("E! orders 'Hot Girls in Scary Places,' " The Live Feed, 02.12.2009)
So it's definitely "ish," at least. Today, I got to see some of the rerun from Friday night (the 13th! Eeek!), and I have to at least say that the sensations experienced were both unique and alien. That doesn't mean they were good.
OK--they're all in a hospital, they don't seem scared at all, and nobody got laid--at least on-camera. The majority of what I witnessed--and it was all blood-chilling, just not the way you might think--was a gaggle of very bored coeds giggling and jiggling, a faked series of EVP (electro-voice phenomena, allegedly recordings of "spirit voices"), and not a hell of lot more. In reality, it looked like dumb outtakes from Jackass. Yet, we Americans love having things lying around that we don't need, so I assume the show will get picked-up as a series, mainly for its obvious camp value.

Where's Fred and his gay-sash in all of this? Will they have the old guy at the end exclaiming, "And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you doggone bimbos." Perhaps, perhaps not, we'll see. My bets are on the old codgers. Some news outlets are saying that this show is a conscious "send-up," but do we really believe this? Perhaps, but why not make a drinking game out of it anyway, for every time one of the girls says "duhhhhh," "like," and "Ohmigod!" Yes, the dreaded "Ohmigod!" factor.

Executive producer Gary Auerbach has produced at least a dozen of these kinds of moronic reality shows, but his shows that bear the most obvious relationship to "Girls" is "Paranormal State" and "Lost Tapes," both-of-which are equally boring and impossible to accept or believe as anything but staged boredom. Even the "participants" and "investigators" appeared bored and incredulous. Well, right, because there is no supernatural anything and nothing after this life and no Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Sorry.
Auerbach also produced "Punk'd" and several other MTV shows that are boring, so "Girls" was no real surprise here. But really, it is a soul-sucking and Satanic thing, this show. Just the mere existence of a show with a title like "Hot Girls in Scary Places" is enough to cause the dead to rise from their graves and seek revenge...on the barely-living, the barely-conscious, and that's not even dragging the viewers into it (that would be the show's backers). Did I mention he directed the early-1990s "Jon Stewart Show"?

Hey, everyone has to start somewhere, and I don't blame the producer for the state of the entertainment business. No, somehow, I can't blame Auerbach entirely. That blames rests with the money people in the entertainment industry who want to jettison troublesome union actors, crew, and writers, so that they can make lots of money and...crap. If they really want to entertain us, why not airdrop a pile of these social darwinists in Darfur, Afghanistan, the tribal regions of Pakistan, or over the borders into Iran? Or why not just let set "Girls" in the bad-parts of Oakland or Watts?

Best yet: airdrop these entertainment backers into the aforementioned places along with the rest of the CEOs of America. That would hardly be a boring show, that.
"E! orders 'Hot Girls in Scary Places,' " The Live Feed, 02.12.2009: