So we all saw Episode 6 (I think; it’s hard to even keep track) of ANTM 19 last night, and I’m sad to say that nothing has improved yet. Reason 3 for the massive fail is something I’ve been thinking about since it started, but last night’s dreary disaster convinced me more than ever that it’s one of the most basic reasons why things are not working this season. Yep, it’s yet ANOTHER reason related to social media… but there’s a bonus fail in the next post!
I have to be honest– the way things are happening this season is very confusing to start with, even without bringing in all the other problems. The first photo shoot was back in May. So now… they’re releasing the best photos every week, apparently, but the social media reaction is actually happening in real time… what a confusing mess.
Certain aspects were shot months in advance. But the major difference between this cycle and all others is that it does not feel that way. The photo shoots were completed months ago. However, the eliminations are happening right now. And I think that the simple fact that everyone is stuck with the horrible decision to link content to weekly audience reactions ruined it all. The show really is still shot week to week. This means that the editors have to constantly scramble to keep up because of the extremely short turnaround time. There is no way to really create a kind of “story arc” for the entire series– the entire series isn’t done before post-production really starts. I’ve done editing for infomercials, commercials, and similar formats, so I know the negative effects this situation can have.
When the editing is frantic and rushed, a show ends up with problems that are hard for the viewers to put their finger on (unless they really understand editing themselves.) Everything feels jumbled and disjointed. It’s difficult to identify with the characters (not that it was ever going to be easy to identify with BryanBoy, but you know what I mean!) Continuity feels wrong. The whole viewing experience just seems “off.” And that’s what we get here.
Kristin Kagay is a good example. Things were edited to make her look like an annoying bitch for several weeks, but she’s just kind of dropped out for a couple of episodes now. I think it reflects the fact that everyone knew her photos started to go to hell at the present time of the show. Although the Annoying Bitch from Bitchland might actually be her real personality, I kind of feel sorry for her. They used her, and now it looks like they’re going to drop her. And because the entire series was not completed in advance in the same way as it was in the past, there was never any chance for a coherent story arc involving her.
All decisions are made in frantic reaction to whatever the latest social media stupidity seems to be showing is the way to go. The ebb and flow of the show is completely gone, because they can really only work with one episode at a time. Yes, this is the way that real life works, but the entire point of fiction– or judicially edited non-fiction– is that we don’t want to see things unfold in a messy, meandering, plotless way.
ETA: Writing example coming soon!