My cuppa: iced coffee, one from a fast-food place and the other from a coffeeshop. Verdict? Toss-up!
Available in syndication is a pair of short articles I did on reality shows hitting the airwaves this week. Without further ado…
The Little Couple Takes on the World
Tuesday, May 26, TLC adds to its stable of families facing unusual challenges
with the premiere of “The Little Couple,” chronicling the daily lives of
newlyweds Bill Klein and Jen Arnold.
a businessman, and Arnold's
couple. But since they’re both under 4 feet tall, life has thrown them a few
Klein doesn’t really see it that way.
may say, ‘Wow, that’s amazing; they’re able to do laundry or save a baby,’ ”
Klein says, “but to us, it’s second nature. It’s like you putting on your
learned it that way when you first learned how to do it, and that’s the way
you’ve done it ever since. Now we weren’t on this planet for three days — we’ve
been here for a while.
the things that we’ve learned how to do, we’ve learned just like you guys have.
We go through the same steps to get there. Just because we have the
intermediary of a stepladder or something like that, it’s not that big a deal.”
the biggest challenge Klein and Arnold may be facing right now is just how to
squeeze a relationship into a TV schedule.
the fact that we have jobs besides this that need our full attention,” Klein
says, “for the production of the show, what gets taken away is our personal
time, of Jen and I being able to be alone.”
Klein’s tips for young little people:
for the stars. Pay attention to your exams; get good grades; go to the best
school. Write an awesome essay, talk about your personal trials, tribulations
and successes. Do what really turns you on.”
On avoiding victim mentality:
whole world isn’t against us. That’s the mentality of the minority of people
that have challenges like this. Most people don’t think about it. They think
about how to achieve their goals, not why they can’t.”
And now for something completely different…
‘Wipeout’ Takes It to the Edge
outside of Los Angeles, on a dusty abandoned ranch ringed by hills scorched by
brush fires, ABC’s obstacle-course competitive reality show “Wipeout” —
returning for a new season on Wednesday, May 27 — aims to manage chaos.
the job of wrangling what goes on in front of the cameras falls to the show’s
hosts, John Henson and John Anderson, and co-host Jill Wagner, there’s a whole
army of people behind the scenes working hard to make the huge obstacles
colorful, exciting and scary but not overly dangerous.
those leading that army is executive producer Scott Larsen, one of the evil
geniuses behind elaborate qualifying challenges with names like Sucker Punch,
Dizzy Dummy and Dreadmill.
goal is to weed out the weaker competitors from the initial 24, leaving only
the strong to make it to nightfall and the brightly lit “Wipeout Zone” with its
waterfalls and jets of flame — all in pursuit of a $50,000 grand prize.
we’re looking for are uncontrolled, awkward falls,” says Larsen, “because those
are the funniest, and it’s always funny when you bounce off of something. The
big balls are always good for that.
design all the stunts to be safe, but we also design for maximum wipeout. We go
from safe to wipeout — that’s always the rule. If you go the other way around,
that’s how we get hurt.
testing), we go a little bit faster, little bit faster, until we wipe out. We
only one competitor can take home the cash, those who wiped out don’t
necessarily go home empty-handed.
casting director Rich Leist (photo from my set visit, at right), “These guys are exchanging e-mails, giving phone
numbers. They’re planning parties together. “It’s amazing to see people
competing for money, but at the end of the day, they’ve genuinely become
friends, because they’ve shared this bonding experience.
‘How did you do on the big balls?’ Once they get out of it, and they can talk
to somebody else who’s done it, all of a sudden they have this in common.”