As a film genre, drama is used as a category to describe something you may consider viewing as not funny. I find the word amusingly ironic, since it refers to a mode of fiction as related to an acting performance. When contrasted against real life (the physical one we think we are part of) it is anything but fiction, as much as we wish it were. If you take a look at genre history of the Academy Awards since inception in 1928, Best Picture comedy category totals rank in the single digits, with Annie Hall as the last one in 1977. That’s a thirty-four year span of motion picture drama, a complete lifetime for a post-generation X’er. Back then (lights a corncob pipe on the front porch) you could go to the movies to escape real-life drama and swap it for fictional drama for a reasonable price, in an air-conditioned movie theater. It provided a reason to leave your home and forget your own personal drama for a couple of hours. One that is always lurking, starting with the moment you open your eyes in the morning.
Back then (puff puff), movie making and editing was a very expensive, complicated, and time-consuming process. You needed experienced people to manage and direct the process, culminating in mass distribution via the movie theaters. You had to learn the industry, go to special schools, and work your way into a position where you can create film art for the masses. You had to earn you way in. This also applied to the lowly TV show (what’s TV?). Fast forward to Bizarro World, 2012. Drama in every pore, molecule of air, and thought. It moves at the speed of light, care of your favorite high-bandwidth mobile device or cable TV system, at premium prices. An unlimited smorgasbord. No need to create a dramatic storyline, just grab a digital camera and follow some angry cougars around. Edit in some snazzy video graphics and background music, and voilà you have a product. Proceed with caution, angry cougars ahead.
Real Housewives Of Schwenksville? Nope. Beverly Hills baby! Or Atlanta, New York, and even a whole California county-Orange. And don’t call them housewives-well, okay only if you pay them. There’s also Mob Wives, where the husbands aren’t camera hungry. Being married to a guy with lots o’ coin, and living in a multi-million dollar home is the price of admission. Plenty of real-life drama experiences to draw from, an endless fountain of spew! Plastic surgery recuperation, drunken verbal dinner brawls, and bored shopping sprees on Rodeo Drive-such hell and horror. What motivates these poor women to do it, week after week? The need to unburden themselves and vent their grievances on air? To process the hurt feelings from their last cougar match? Maybe, but highly doubtful. They can dry their tears with the paycheck. Wearing any variation of makeup, heels, and jewelry, while demanding respect from another cougar cast mate who is also wearing makeup, heels, and jewelry isn’t easy. Maybe they don’t wear heels on Mob Wives because they might find their way into someone’s forehead. Here’s the formula: two cougars brawl on camera. Film them commenting on the brawl. Film the other cougars commenting on the brawl. Film the hurt cougar shopping, getting plastic surgery, or throwing a massive party to feel better. I use the word film here even though it’s digital. Digitally record them? It’s tough for the camera crew too, having to hold a camera in one hand and a Bat Shield in the other.
This can all be whittled down. Many people have a great inability to deal with other people in their immediate environment. They have their own agenda, say and do things that aren’t in line with these overly emotional people who react angrily every time they think they are being disrespected. It has caused wars and death. This human flaw, being “dissed”, is now a major money-making business. Fantasy living is now Reality TV. A new genre category has come to life and it ain’t pretty: Reality Fiction, all brought to you by famous skin and hair care product manufacturers.