Wednesday, December 20

Work it, ladybird.

I had a fairly stressful, running-around-trying-to-get-more-accomplished-than-is-actually-possible kind of day, part of a fairly stressful, running-around-trying-to-get-more-accomplished-than-is-actually-possible kind of week. I had a phone conference scheduled this evening with the director of a play that I'm writing music for out-of-town this spring, but got home to my apartment and found that the phone call was to be postponed; having been gifted an unexpected moment to veg, I plopped myself on the couch and turned on the TV.

I'm not really one for reality TV (what lack of interest I have in most reality TV shows I make up for in my singular obsession with Project Runway), but I will admit on a lazy weekend I will sit on the couch for hours watching a marathon of America's Next Top Model, whose delights are inexplicable. So, tonight, when I turned on the TV in lazy weekend mode and Top Model was on, I contently made myself a sandwich and sat down to enjoy.

But something was off in Top Model land. It took me a few moments to realize what was going on. Was this a new season? I felt like I had, not too long ago, just seen the finalists of the most recent Top Model face off in some sort of zombie prom fashion show, and that one girl had been declared the winner. But there were only four girls here, and I didn't recognize any of them. And there was something slightly askew with the whole affair. Was there something wrong with my TV?

Then it dawned on me that this was, in fact, a Very Special Airing of...Britain's Next Top Model.

Actually, I should say, Britain's Next Top Muddle, because that's exactly what it sounded like with a British accent.

A few comments:

1) There is nothing more fascinating than British regional dialects. I'm so accumstomed to thinking of that Hugh Grant Standard British accent when I hear English people in the movies that I forget that the Brits can speak as differently from one another as us Americans. I can't describe the exact timbre of the dialects on BNTM, suffice it to say that while I don't think any of these girls would have screamed, "Bitch poured beer on my weave!" (perhaps my favorite America's Next Top Model moment), their accents certainly conveyed something fascinatingly specific about their background and life experience.

2) Those Brits are so earnest! (They did expound upon its Importance, after all.) Part of the enormous element of schadenfreude that makes America's Next Top Model such a guilty pleasure is that the girls that get booted off are so defiant about it. You watch them walk out of the room with their nose in their air, proclaiming that they're gonna rise to the top in spite of being a loser. You know they won't, and you love that the arrogant are doomed to fail. In Britain, everyone cries. All the time. At the house. At photoshoots. At judging. They just cry. And then when the hostess has to kick someone off, she cries. And the loser talks into the camera and cries, and says, "Oh well. This was fun. Now it's back to Cornfield-Upon-Bristol where I'll go work on my Mum's hen farm." It's actually kind of sad. Even I like to see the arrogant, deluded non-models of America's Next Top Model dream a little dream!

3) Having aspiring models shout "Lisa Mail!!" when they get a letter is not as bootylicious as when they shout "Tyra Mail!!"

I finished my sandwich and wondered why I was spending 40 minutes watching this show where everyone cried about modeling. Then, they announced the winner, and in a fit of British spontaneity (which couldn't help but seemed forced, but was, indeed earnest), the hostess looked at the newly crowned winner (who was crying) and exclaimed, "YOU'RE BRITAIN'S NEXT TOP MUDDLE!!"

This made me smile. Then I turned off the TV.


Blogger Liz said...

the "...on my mum's hen farm" bit made me laugh so hard I peed a little.

10:45 AM  

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