12 January 2011

Questions I'm often asked #1 (of 1)

Before I was a lonely blogger, I actually used to talk to other human beings. As I’ve mentioned before, I was lucky enough to interview several film and TV actors (“lucky” because it tends to impress people when I say something like “I’ve met Nicolas Cage” or “Jane Campion admired my hands”... which is another story).

At times, people have asked me who, of all the actresses I’ve interviewed, was the most adorable in person. To which I reply: “What sort of dumb question is that?” I’ve always been utterly professional, of course. But if you insist on wasting my time with such trivialities, I’ll say that two come to mind.

One was Sacha Horler, who is utterly charming. She has made her screen career playing plain-looking, unglamorous women. But while I was talking to her, if she had suddenly said “Hey, let’s get married,” I would probably have agreed.

The other was Gigi Edgley (pictured), who was playing an alien juvenile delinquent in the space-opera Farscape when I was writing for science fiction magazines. We even kept a regular email correspondence for a time (so there). More recently, the very pretty and gregarious Miss Edgley has been seen in Rescue Special Ops, albeit not by many people.

Watching Rescue Special Ops, you realise that reality TV (with a few exceptions) has been replaced in our hearts and minds by a great new concept: FICTIONAL TV. Survivor used to strand a bunch of real people on a desert island and give them challenges, but eventually the viewers lost interest. Instead, we became addicted to Lost, in which (get this) a group of FICTITIOUS people were stranded on a desert island and given (far more exciting) challenges by a team of writers. Big Brother was about a bunch of 20-somethings loafing around a house and seducing each other, but this was superseded by shows like The Secret Life of Us, in which a bunch of 20-somethings (including, for a time, Gigi Edgley) loafed around a house and seduced each other. The gimmick? These people were fictitious, and written in such a way as to make them a lot more interesting than most people on Big Brother. The idea was sheer genius.

Now we've had Rescue Special Ops, which is like a few reality shows about police, except without the reality. Still, based on the few episodes I’ve seen, it has one of the hallmarks of reality TV: every episode seems to end with one of them being eliminated. In this case, it’s done by killing someone. By the end of the season, I imagine that only two of them will be left, like most reality shows. Hopefully, the ever-likable Miss Edgley will be one of them, so I can vote for her.

That's all for today. Pathetic, really.


Luke said...

Actually, I think you have this backwards. Reality TV is a rather recent concept. Yes, I know - it is hard to believe this because most major networks are completely dominated by reality shows almost up to exclusion of everything else. But it was not always this way.

Before networks turned to Reality TV we had just plain old TV. Shows had actors, directors, writing staff and all that jazz.

In fact, I distinctly remember growing up shows about cops, rescue workers and 20-something room-mates long before anyone has ever even considered firing the writers and just following bunch of crazy people with camera.

So I guess it is fair to say these shows preceded their much cheaper to produce, reality versions.

But yes, Ms Edgley is awesome and hopefully they won't "vote her of the island" any time soon. :)

Mark Juddery said...

Glad you agree about Miss Edgley... and if I still had her email (which has doubtless changed since I knew it), I'm sure she'd send her regards.

But I should point out: I didn't have it backwards! Yes, I know fictitious drama predates reality TV by many, many decades. That whole paragraph was a JOKE! Sorry, I occasionally don't mean to be taken seriously...