Over the holidays, my father and I sipped eggnog and watched an episode of Bad Girl Club on the Oxygen Network. This is not tradition, I assure you. I doubt it will become a holiday favorite and replace It’s a Wonderful Life. It probably lacks the timeless quality of the perennial favorite, Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. But we were innocently flipping channels and stumbled upon a drunken catfight between bad girls in their underwear on a network that was originally supported by Oprah Winfrey as a women empowering women TV network. Pass the eggnog. This is the clip we watched. Charged with violence and the lurid promise of g-string underwear, this is reality TV gold:
Bad Girl Club is a reality show created by the producers of MTV’s The Real World. The premise is simple. Surprised? The producer team of Bunim-Murray, the grandparents of a wave of reality shows that has put entire TV production crews, writing staffs and actors on the unemployment line, has once again dipped into the shallow well of their collective unconscious and blessed the world with another 22 episodes of real life docu-drama. Bunim-Murray productions has scoured the country and cast a collection of self-proclaimed bad girls. The girls live in a stylish mansion together and… well, let’s be honest… they get really drunk, naked and beat the shit out of each other.
I suppose that I’m a little bitter. I just got word from FOX network that a TV pilot I wrote is “too esoteric.” Maybe I should wear this rejection as a badge of honor. Do we really want all this manipulated reality on television. I want to believe that we don’t. In 2005, there were 10% fewer writing jobs available to storytellers in Hollywood. Last year, 15% fewer.
This morning, in the LA Times, I read that anthropologists have discovered that modern humans migrated out of Africa, all the way to Russia, 45,000 years ago. Scientists were very surprised that modern humans migrated away from Africa to one of the coldest, driest places in Europe. It would be like your retired parents leaving a condo in Miami Beach to settle in Duluth, Minnesota.
The theory supported by scientists is that modern humans settled in places where there was less competition and basically, they wanted to get the hell away from Neanderthals. Wouldn’t you?
They were probably primitive, crude, drank too much, drew bad charcoal jokes at social gatherings and beat the shit out of each other in the nude. Sounds a lot like Bad Girls Club.
Modern Humans ushered in the Stone Age and left the Neanderthals behind. But maybe they weren’t so bad. Those guys probably really knew how to party. And what if they evolved on their own and surpassed us Modern Humans? You’ve seen those Geico ads where one of the guys orders the roast duck with mango salsa. Do you think that guy watches COPS?
I love this quote by Jon Murray, co-creator of Bad Girls Club , featured on the Oxygen Network website: “These girls have the courage to create their own game plan and not be hemmed in by how society wants them to act. Of course it sometimes holds them back from having successful relationships and careers, but from the outside it looks like they’re having a good time. Secretly, I think we all wish we could be a little more like them.” There’s no need for comment, here, but the man certainly has a gift for slinging bullshit, doesn’t he?
There’s been a lot of debate within the scientific community whether there was interbreeding between Neanderthals and Modern Humans and how and when Neanderthals became extinct. “The scientific community” is a very serious group who probably never hold conventions in Vegas and puke in strip clubs.
Scientists have recently discovered a 45,00 year-old ivory sculpture from a mammoth tusk that may represent the oldest figurative art. The Stone Age was a very exciting time for Modern Humans, the cultured elite. Those tight-assed Modern Humans turned their back on Neanderthals Gone Wild for more “esoteric,” refined artistic expression.
We are still evolving. So, there is hope for quality entertainment on TV and in theaters. There is hope for more “esoteric” programming. On behalf of actors and writers, we would welcome a chance to work more. We can even play Neanderthals.