January 22, 2007
A View from the Stacks: Jennifer Lopez Needs to Call Me
This last week, I was lucky enough to come down with a cold. It was one of those nose- runny-and-then-plugged-and-then-runny-again type colds that left me with no other choice then to stay home and heavily medicate myself. This description of my cold is necessary so you can all understand my mind set when I came to the following conclusion: librarians need a reality show.
While home, I was (un)fortunate enough to watch roughly 30 hours of television. And of these 30 hours, 15 were spent watching MTV’s “Monday Night Encore” of shows, including the new reality show produced by Jennifer Lopez. (For those of you who do not know who Jennifer Lopez is, well…this is the kind of situation where Google comes in handy.) The show itself is about dancers and their experiences in the rough and tumble world of Los Angeles. I have nothing in common with these people (with the exception of appreciating finely groomed facial hair) but I watched reruns of this program at least 4 times, each time more captivated then the last.
I believe the combination of flashy camera work and an overdose of cough medicine may be part of the reason that I sat there enthralled with this program, but I also think that this show embodies a very critical feature to reality TV: high production value with an over-the-top soundtrack. At times, I was not sure if I was watching a reality show or a movie about dancers. And the manufactured tension between the different personalities was brilliant. This got me thinking about the format for a reality show featuring librarians.
First off, I believe the opening sequence would have to feature a librarian shelving to AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” There would have to be a story line featuring a “new-comer” to the world of libraries, who faces off against someone established and who resents this “new-comer’s” approach. And the library would come equipped with a confessional, where both staff and patrons could tell the viewers how they are feeling at any given moment. I have not quite figured out how to make filing sexy, but here is where the soundtrack would come in handy. And the technician could look sad, like they are reflecting on something in their life at that moment that is bringing them down. Foreshadowing a future confessional, perhaps?
I am putting this idea out there because I believe that pretty much every other reality show has been done (does anyone else remember Fox’s The Will?) so now is the time to shine the light (and cameras) on the hallowed halls of knowledge. Of course, this idea might only seem like a good idea because I am still on cough medicine, but isn’t that how they got the idea for Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?
Stina McClintock, Library Technician, King County Law Library (Seattle) and Beer Judge (BJCP)
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