The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual

When G came out to me, the only question that really came to mind was “What is your name going to be?” Everything else just seemed rude, crude and socially unacceptable. And that's pretty much what Calpernia Addams says in her video, “Bad Questions to Ask a Transsexual: The Director's Cut (link via Katelynn, who will be on the TV in a few hours).

MTVs The Real World: “The Devyn & Sarah Show, starring Chet”

Unlike last week's show, there was no single unifying theme this week, but, given the focus of the show, I present “The Devyn & Sarah Show, starring Chet.”

Through a family connection, Devyn gets an audition with a theater casting agent [although the way it's presented leaves me somewhat confused—within the context of the show, it seems like she was talking to her cousin (said family connection) one day, and then suddenly she's talking to the theater casting agent scehduling an audition. I doubt things happened that fast though, and I have to wonder just how much temporal editing is done on the show]. Now, she's got a voice (we see her rehearsing “The Star-Spangled Banner) but it's not anything spectactular (Bunny mentioned that she was a bit flat on the high notes, but that could be corrected in post-production [a running joke between Bunny and me dealing with industry manipulation of singing talent —Editor]) and the style of singing (“gospel singer”) didn't quite fit that particular song. It's a “generically great” voice. Her acting (seen in the audition) left me flat. She had the lines memorized, but it was just that—lines.

Her two big blunders though—showing up late to the audition, and saying she wants to get into television or film to a theater casting agent.

The first mistake—being late. She was driving and the on-board GPS told her to make a turn that she missed [No comment —Sean] [Thank God! —Editor] either because she was concentrating on her lines, or road construction or both. She ended up going to Jersey (“Who intentionally drives to New Jersey?”).

So, as filmed, we see Devyn in the car heading off to the Oil and Petrochemical Refinery State, then we cut to the theater casting agent, sitting at a table, then we cut to the clock, which shows the time of her audition. Cut back to Devyn, then back to the theater casting agent, then the clock (showing she's ten minutes late). Devyn, agent, clock (twenty minutes late), and then Devyn rushes in, apologizing profusely for being late. My question is: why didn't she drive with the camera man filming the theater casting agent? Obviously he was on time.

But enough of Devyn—on to Sarah and her secret stalker! It turns out to be her father, whom she hasn't wanted to talk to for ten years, and has told her father that, several times each year. And somehow, he managed to find the phone number to The Real World Living Room Phone™. It's obvious that Sarah was traumatized by the whole experience, but Bunny was calling XXXXXXXX on the whole show by this time. How could her father get the phone number? I admit, the way it was shown it was highly coincidental that Sarah and Chet had a conversation about abuse the day her father calls on the phone. And it turns out her father abused her.

Or not.

Or perhaps just mentally.

It's not really clear just what exactly happened.

As a kid, she was in a day care center when one of the counselors approached her in a very inappropriate manner that could have lead to sexual abuse had it continued. It didn't, but Sarah still had to spend several years in therapy to work out the issues.

The issue with her father stemmed from an incident several years after the previous incident on a camping trip, just the two of them. Her father only brought a single sleeping bag, which they then “had to share.” Not much more was told, and the impression I get is that she immediately bailed on the camping trip and that lead to a split between her parents.

Did her father try to sexually abuse her? (as Sarah believes) Or was it a misunderstanding? (her father's story—and here, I'm filling in a lot of details as I'm only working with what was presented on the show).

In any case, it obviously affected Sarah and she wants nothing to do with her father.

Yet he keeps on trying.

And it's amazing that it just so happened that he called.

Scripted? (Okay, this week, we need more angst! Sarah, you hate your father!)

Planned? (The producers slipped the phone number to her father?)


How did they get the clearance for the father's voice? We heard both sides of the conversation (in fact, for any call to The Real World Living Room Phone™ the audience can hear both sides of the conversation, so I'm sure that waivers had to be signed and dotted and what not to minimize the legal ramifications to MTV) so the father must have signed.

Or for that, was an actor used to “dub” in the voice?

Or is Sarah a really good actress?

[Personally, I feel that the producers may have slipped the father the phone number to increase the drama factor—heck, who didn't have parent problems at that age? And that whatever happened, it severely traumatized Sarah, but that's me. —Sean]

And now Chet. He's slowing growing on me. This week he was making time with the ladies, charming in a dorky kind of way.

I think JD has a drinking problem, and seriously pissed off Devyn and Katelynn.

Scott, Ryan (seriously dude, what's up with the 'stache?), Baya and Katelynn were this week's background characters (Katelynn more so than the others).

Next week: Ryan has flashbacks to Vietnam Iraq.

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