Friday, March 16, 2012

Bad Edit? I'm Not Buying It.

10am is undoubtedly the best time to stand at the office water cooler.  It’s the moment when co-workers who adamantly deny enjoying reality television all happen to crave jugged water at the very same time.  Guaranteed, talk will be about last night’s eviction, elimination, cat fight or (if you're lucky) bitch slap.  Then, just at the moment everyone is most riled up, secretary Betty reminds the gang, “well, everything happens for a reason”.  The group shrugs and returns to their desks, tepid water in hand.

My greatest pet peeve is overuse of the expression "everything happens for a reason".  Couple it with an insincere or passive-aggressive smile, let alone a rehearsed reference to the G-o-d, and I’ll freak.

Years ago, I believed this sentence was used most frequently in funeral homes or outdated self-help books, but that's no longer the case.  The sets of reality television shows have taken a ridiculously firm lead.  You can change the venue all you’d like, but I’m still not buying it.

Did this just “happen for a reason”?

Or this??

(yes, she is crying)

Or even this???

The short answer is: Yes, of course it did.  But there's way more to it than this gross over-generalization.

Many starlets (and their supporters) are quick to blame a “bad edit” or producer tricks for their portrayal on television. In the many years that I have produced TV, I have never used eye drops to make someone cry (although, I did once see a cast member use an onion at a very opportune time).  I have never pinched someone to make their face appear flushed, or given them shellfish to make their skin break out with blotches. For whatever the reason- sadness, nerves, fear, embarrassment, exhaustion, butterflies, or even fame- they broke on their own.  Then, in an effort to excuse, ignore or justify the honest reaction, they sugar coated it and tied it up with a bow that reads “everything happens for a reason”.

(Insert Emotional Issues Here)

I challenge you never to use this sentiment ever again.  But if you do, please elaborate.  Own who you are, as no one else ever should.