REJECTED BY REALITY

REJECTED BY REALITY
4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 25 minutes
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Audition tapes from “American Idol” can only be tolerated so much. If they’re tolerated too much, look what happens. William Hung gets a record deal. A hefty number of the people on reality shows can only be tolerated so much for that matter. Mike Messier didn’t travel the road trampled to death in his quest to be a part of reality TV. Being Mike Messier, there had to be a different program out there, a different method for him to make his mark on the people of the United States, to let them know that Mike Messier does exist and he doesn’t need to be on any stinkin’ island to show people that he’s around. In other words, he pounded three times on heavy doors.

The first was for “Candidate 2012”, HBO’s ditched reality series about choosing a 24-to-29 year old to run for President of the United States. Laden with so much irony, his two greatest influences that would drive him in his political career are mayors that were indicted for crimes they committed, yet one of them was actually re-elected. It’s Messier’s way of exposing the underbelly of politics, but he was rejected from the show for not being “political” enough. HBO apparently doesn’t understand that it’s not about being “political”. If the channel wanted people to watch this person’s 10-year odyssey in running for President, present a person that can talk, someone that can make those issues come alive through their words, to rile this country up enough to participate. At this point, a lot of the United States is in a drunken stupor. It shouldn’t be made political right away. Just have someone that can actually talk and can inspire debate, so long as they believe in what they’re saying and aren’t just saying it to be in favor with whomever’s favor they want. That can come later. No wonder HBO ditched it.

Messier then applied for a creative writing position with the WWE, and the organization rejects him, spurring him on to rant on camera about what wrestling has become and what it should revert back to being. When he rants, listening is essential. There’s so much genuine passion and anger in his words that even those who don’t pay attention to wrestling much will be riveted. Maybe HBO was being too idealistic, because Messier would have been fantastic in getting people to pay attention. Then he decides to apply for “Tough Enough 3” and finally, the Jerry Springer show, in which his most original creation is seen in full: Smudge Baby. With arm-length leopard print gloves, and a white mask covering everything except his mouth, Messier’s Smudge Baby looks like Divine and the Phantom of the Opera brought together as one person. With a dramatic southern accent and his (or her) doll, Lucy Leprosy, Smudge Baby gives all the reasons for hankering to go to Chicago to be on the Jerry Springer show. And if you thought your friends were weird, Messier can top them and leave you with more to think about that the one who accidentally got a beer bong stuck up his butt. Those kinds are out there I’m sure, but none like Messier.

“Rejected by Reality” is smart not only in giving us a different take on auditioning for reality shows of ironic types, but in how typical reality shows are, with the same people taking on the same roles all the time. The status quo needs to have its intestines twisted, eaten, and then burped out. For that, Smudge Baby should be on Survivor. Or American Idol. Or even The Bachelor. Now that’s an entertaining thought!



Posted on August 18, 2005 in Reviews by
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