TV: Reality Become Reality

All across Australia, people are talking, tweeting and blogging about The Voice. The blind auditions were some of the best TV I’ve seen this year, and it’s a pleasure to watch people with real talent do their thing. Not to have to sit through half cocked judges, belittling and diminishing people for the sake of ratings, is a relief.

What is worrying is the amount of contestants who already have a reasonable level of success.  Mahalia Barnes was the support act for Lionel Richie on his last tour. Laura Bunting was in Wicked, Matt Hetherington has been in many professional musicals. Is it fair, people are asking. I don’t think it’s a matter of being fair,  it’s bigger than that. It’s a matter of not enough work, for anyone, in any sector.

Times are hard in almost every industry, particularly the entertainment business. A few weeks ago I watched Tangle on Showtime and saw Richard Piper playing a small role. I assumed, since it was Richard Piper – one of Australia’s best actors, that it would be a substantial role. He had two scenes. Two scenes! WTF? Anyone could have played that role. What a waste of a great actor.

It’s hard not to see the quality of contestants on The Voice as a sign of our economic times. Recession TV ™

Imagine a reality show where the unemployed are pitted against each other, fighting for the right to work. House painter vs house painter. Fitter & turner vs fitter & turner. Truck driver vs Truck driver. All for the crown of being employed.

The Employment Games.

Can you see it?

I think it’s already here.

It’s scary.

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