Category Archives: documentary

FBI agent leases building to FBI and lies about it…BTW that’s illegal

In 2001, Philip Halbert Neilson was placed as the supervisory agent in charge of locating the building that the FBI would be using  in Oxford, MS.  Agent Neilson made his recommendation and the FBI moved in and set up shop.  Everything is cool to this point. Read the rest of this entry

Pseudo-Reality Shows?

“Pseudo-Reality Show” is a term that I have had to create to class a television show that pretends to be a documentary of some sort as the vehicle that allows the camera to capture the “goings on” in the show itself.  This hybrid docu-sitcom thing has made me realize something.  I believe that that the veil should not be broken if you need believability in your show.  “The Veil” that I am referring to is the barrier that allows the viewer to remain INVISIBLE and UNABLE to interact with the show itself.  These newer shows not only pierce said veil they erase the damned thing all together when they have Big Brother diary like sessions that expound on actions and the hilarity of the show.  Another thing that these Pseudo-Reality Shows do is look at the camera in a “Did you see that?” kind of way OR a “I am so embarassed” kind of way.  Both of wich are very effective in getting me to “share” in the moment.  It is a cheap way to get me to like/empathize with the character.  If you don’t know what I mean, here is a senario:

(Fade In From Commercial)
(Lead in Music Fades out)
CHARACTER 1 is discussing a topic with CHARACTER 2.
CHARACTER 2  says something that stuns CHARACTER 1.
CHARACTER 2 walks away.
CHARACTER 1 look into camera and blinks.

That’s it.

Did you notice that there is no dialogue in the above example?  “Why?” You ask.  YOU DON’T NEED IT! The blink by CHARACTER1 and the direct acknowledgment with the look into the camera that YOU experienced that with CHARACTER 1 is all you and the show need to make you, the viewer, relate to the CHARACTER and thereby making you like it.

This seemingly innocent device of making the viewer a cast member does not work on shows where the writing and acting can carry the weight of the plot while building attachment from the audience.  LOST will never have a character look into the camera and shrug as a means to say “Hey you in TV LAND, That was zany right?”

New shows to watch that are good who fit into the Pseudo-Reality Category:


Modern Family

Parks and Recreation

Watch em and see what ya think about them looking at you like you are there.  I find it great when its done well (MODERN FAMILY) comical when its used as sparingly (COMMUNITY) and annoying when its done every 5 minutes to drive home a lame joke (PARKS AND RECREATION).

I am sure there are more than these 3, but you get the point.

You make the call!

“By the People: The Election of Barak Obama”

I am watching this documentary about the election of Pres. Obama and all I can think of is how “political” he looks.  As much as I like the man- he looks like a politician.  That is unsettling to me.  The screen is showing David Poluffe talking about how little sleep they have going into the Iowa primary while Wolf Blitzer and his expert discuss the ” Viability” of the candidates.  There is a baby toting mom searching the caucus for Obama supporters as Obama’s Iowa victory is announced. At the after party Tommy Vietor shrugs and says, “Who knew?”   I think he should have.  After the volunteer cries to his mom on the phone about how happy he is that his work for all these weeks is not in vain, Obama is shown on a private jet flying away from Iowa to focus on New Hampshire.  It looks like he is saying “Thanks…See ya.”  I love watching Chuck Todd and Chris Matthews discuss the emerging political scene with questions firing back and forth at each other.  Ryan Lizza from the New York Post spouts stats like he is reading a text book.  When Axelrod and Gibbs broke the news to Obama that he did not win the New Hampshire primary he looked at them and said, “This is going to take a while, isn’t it?”  That question led to his realization that American politics is a corn maze that sometimes has no end.  I think Obama knows now that you have to be a politician, you have to take certain steps, you have to pay the pipers and the gate keepers and yes President Obama…It is going to take a while for any change to happen.

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