« noah is to middlesexes as patrick is to breakfast on pluto | Main | Sisters and Bitches »

Paradise City

I am a reality television junkie, and I’d like to say that I’m ashamed of that, but that would be a lie. It is to the point where I actually Tivo every week shows like The Real World, The Hills, American Idol, The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Girls Next Door, and my newest attraction: Paradise City.

Paradise City airs on E! Television on Sunday evenings at 9:30 pm. The Executive Producer that actually caught my eyes was Ryan Seacrest and it was developed by Go Go Luckey Productions which I have seen on MTV many times and I only pick up on it because of the cute little jingle that my daughter has repeated more than once much to my silent despair.

According to E! Online, Paradise City “offers a firsthand look at what it’s like to live, love, and work in Las Vegas.?

The two main characters are beautiful, blonde women:

Jenner Evans has moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles in hopes of launching an online magazine for women.

Molly Sullivan is a Las Vegas native and already has insider connections to ABC Television as a reporter, has written a book entitled, Las Vegas Little Red Book—A Girl's Guide to the Perfect Vegas Getaway.

Although these two women are sort of pinned against each other in a professional light, the show tends to focus more on the who is dating who, or who is interested in who, or who has the money to get which pretty girls to pay attention to them.

The episode that I chose to watch was subtitled as “Lions and Cheetahs: An assistant to a casino owner hits on April; Jenner and Molly fight over Mark.? If you ask me that is definitely more focused on relationships or lack thereof.

This show is very much geared towards a 25-30-something year old female. In just one commercial break the following products were advertised: Motrin, Kia Sportage, Bluefly.com, Dr. Phil and Match.com, Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion, 40 Smokin’ On-Set Hook-ups preview, McDonald’s, and SAAB. For some reason all of those products or services tend to be directed at that specific audience. I never thought that networks were that specific with their advertising tactics, but apparently I was mistaken and will be paying much more attention to that in the future.

This show isn’t dealing with the kids/teens of shows on MTV, but rather these are full grown adults. Why is it that these adults are still acting like the kids in other shows such as The Real World or Laguna Beach except in an open gambling, alcohol-filled, sex appeal environment. These adults who are still living these dramatics in life seem to have no humility. As Myra Mendible mentions about her students casually agreeing that “women are ruthless when vying for male attention? these women are no variable to that (337). It is obvious that this show is highly edited, yet it sort of plays into the lifestyle that most of us perceive already as the Vegas lifestyle with “hook ups? and lots of games played by both sexes.

I have yet to see an unappealing person appear on this show, and I have high doubts that I ever will. Just as the magazines mentioned in Carra Hood’s essay, The Body is the Message, the articles include suggestions on how to lose weight like the celebrities or “that health can be gauged by looks and that looking healthy means being thinner than we are? (240). In the previous episode, and the re-cap of this episode, the produces are sure to show two of the cast members where else, but the gym.

Playing into the “healthy = thinner? idea and the editing tactics I find it highly ironic that you will see the cast members with vast alcoholic drinks in their hands, but rarely will you see them actually eat any meals. Although, they were gossiping in a grocery store standing in the vegetable department.

The many shots of the girls “primping and gossiping,? whether at the spa or their personal bathrooms, is also taking away from Jenner and Molly’s pinned against professional lives as Marla Harris indicates in Gender Trouble in Paradise (Hotel), or a Good Woman is Hard to Find (357). These girls are being turned into just “sexually available, attractive beings? and that is it. For example, when April is introduced not just as “April,? but as “April, she works at the Playboy Club.?

The inappropriate and uncomfortable scene with another cast member, Greta, being tempted with money to take off her clothes and get on the stripper pole even though the male, I think his name is JJ, who is forking out about $2000 in hundred dollar bills knows she isn’t a stripper. He is trying to prove a point that for any amount of money, women will do anything. I don’t really even know where to begin with that, but thank you, Greta, for not taking his deal.

In addition, the same JJ, that had originally thrown the party for April, one of Molly’s friends, was elaborate, up-scale, and filled with “money.? April, as the narrator, actually pointed out that “no one had ever thrown a party like this for me back in Ohio…? He then bought her a birthday gift from Tiffany’s and offered to fly her on his private jet to see some game. This all, obviously, had the girl’s gossiping all the more, because as we all know…that is what we do best.

This whole gender stereo-type for women in Vegas is played out as women being these money-hungry beings. It doesn’t help that the men play into this, by trying to win a girl over with his huge wallet and extravagant material possessions. The sexual context of Vegas, and even this show, as being women are just there for the pickings if…you have the wallet to go with it. If the women are playing into this, then wouldn’t that just make every woman a prostitute in some sense?