Why Black and White Films Trump Reality TV

So I’m flipping through the three hundred or so channels on my new overpriced and overrated ‘bundle’ and finding absolutely NOTHING that holds my attention.  After a hosing by the last ‘bundle’ company, you would think I would have learned my lesson.

In truth, I could pull the plug, plop the TV on the curbside and replace the old “square eye” with a reptile tank.  Not to mention, it’s fun to peer out the window to see who picks up the beast.  After looking it over curiously wondering if it still functions properly, glancing askance at my residence and then back to the machine, before…with a shoulder shrug, the curb cruiser whisks it away to its’ new happy home.

I love recycling.  Anything and everything I put on the curb with a “FREE” sign attached, miraculously disappears.

Anyway, it’s not my decision exclusively, so the TV stays put for now.

But wait!  After cursing and bemoaning the abundant reality TV shows, I unveiled a pale light flickering in the TV tunnel of doom.

First, I digress.  Seriously America, are we that nosy?  I don’t have time to care about what the Housewives in New York are doing.  And just for the record:  “Real Housewives” do not wear Prada, have expensive personal trainers on retainer and travel in limousines to fine restaurants to meet their friends and  discuss million dollar fundraisers, which benefit from the proceeds of their personal perfume lines.

And, we do not punch eachother…at least not physically.

True Housewives wear workout clothes all day, because it might motivate us to actually work out or at least convince others we just worked out and also serves as an explanation for the state of our hair.  We drive mini vans or SUVS full of screeching eight-year-old girls to public swimming pools for Birthday parties, have Papa John’s on speed dial and volunteer at the public schools.

Maybe I’ll tweet Ryan Seacrest  http://twitter.com/RyanSeacrest  to see if he wants to promote a show called “Keeping Up with my Stay-At-Home-Mom GF’s and me”.  It would be entertaining.  But would anyone care?

So, just as I’m getting ready to toss the remote across the room and cry out in defeat, I find this great black and white film from 1946, The Razors Edge, , starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney;  a brilliant story based on the novel by Somerset Maugham.

There’s something about the sharp contrast of Black and White that immediately gets your attention, it’s so stripped down, no bells, no whistles.  Nothing explodes and there is no nudity.  The actors needed skill back then and the story was compelling because, as I said, nothing explodes.  The actors held your attention and pulled you into the story.  Imagine!

It’s a tragic story full of loss, deception and heartache.  I immediately felt compassion for, Sophie Nelson, played by Anne Baxter, who for me was the tragic heroine of the film.  I kept hoping her story would end happily, after all she had been through.  Poor Sophie!

There are riveting close-ups, where you have only the actors expressions to convey the scene.  Amazing!  Think, Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, with her terrifying eyebrows arching as she bellowed,  “No more wire hangers!”

Yikes!  That still gives me the chills!

Okay, here’s a clip that isn’t black and white, it would be better if it were:  

Who knows, going back in time may just be the thing to still our over stimulated minds.

I’ll put a note in my tweet to Ryan Seacrest, that my “True Housewives” show, be shot exclusively in black and white, like an I Love Lucy episode.  For my close-up, I’ll need huge arched eyebrows and when I shout, “No more video games or reality TV, EVER!”  Audiences will shudder.

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