Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is there hope for TV journos?

Having worked as a reporter for a good part of my professional life, I'm always curious to see how journalists are portrayed on TV shows and movies. I recall growing up, the depiction of ambulance-chasing hacks always elicited an eye-roll and a heavy sigh from my dad. And if a fake reporter asked the dreaded question - "How do you feel?" - immediately after a tragedy, it would usually prompt a succinct rant from him.

So it was interesting to see how reporters were played in two of my favourite shows this week. First, it was Glee. For those of you who don't watch it, a magazine reporter visited the school, assigned to write a story on the Cheerios, the cheerleading squad. In fact, he was going to write an expose on the show's villain, the squad coach played with venomous perfection by Jane Lynch. However, he may have been hoodwinked into thinking she was in fact an inclusive, groundbreaking breath of fresh air. He promised her a glowing review.

Now I'm hoping his whole, "This story is going to change your career," promise (don't hate me if I'm not getting it word for word - my memory isn't what it once was) could mean he will indeed change it for the worse. Fingers crossed. She's the bad guy after all. It would be a cool opportunity to put that rotten Sue Sylvester in her place. And that's what a real journalist would do. Only time will tell, I guess.

Then it was on to V. Yeah, I watch musicals and sci fi. I'm weird that way. Scott Wolf plays the douchey TV reporter, Chad Decker. Each episode has me wondering if he's really kissing some major alien ass or if he'll end up becoming part of team humans/Fifth Column that try to bring the V down. He plays the part of the vain TV reporter really well, but every now and then he shows a glimmer that there's more going on in his head than dreams of ratings or brain damage from all that hair product. Whether he has a true interest in doing what's best for humanity or just wants a really juicy story remains to be seen.

Anyway, my point is it's pretty cool to see some potential for how journos are played in our entertainment sources and see them break out of the, "How does it feel?" box. Keep it up.

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