Say what you will having Stef live at home has broadened my cultural horizons. For instance, as I type this entry MTV is on the TV. It’s “True Life: I’m a Staten Island Girl.”
The listing says, “Three Staten Island girls want to leave the island to achieve their dreams. Documentary.”
“You always said you wanted to watch documentaries with me,” Stef offered up.
This is not what had in mind!
I asked how many times she’s seen this particular episode. “More than five, less than ten.”
As a pre-reality guy this whole genre is a little strange to me. It’s cinema-vérité (cinema of truth) but we’re not talking Don’t Look Back or Woodstock.
The real difference is MTV is covering a socioeconomic subset totally ignored when I was Stef’s age. The majority of Americans never saw anyone like themselves in the media. If you were middle class (what TV portrayed as middle class was decidedly much more well to do) or working poor you were invisible on TV.
I began to write this with the intention of slamming the show, but I can’t. Unlike many ‘reality’ shows on TV, I really do feel there’s truth here. These are people with goals and dreams. They are playing the hand they were dealt.
They all want off Staten Island.