I really don’t watch a lot of TV. When I do it’s usually something on the History Channel about the Nazi’s obsession with the occult or Vikings. One show I do have a ridiculous soft spot for is MADE, an MTV reality show.
Let me first start off by telling you that I am well aware of how terrible this show is. For those of you who don’t know the premise, it’s as follows: A high school student wants to change (usually an outcast of some sort, but not always) they want to be “made” into something different. A jock wants to be in theater, a nerd wants to be a model, a loner wants to be in a rock band, etc. etc. These students get assigned a MADE coach which is someone who is a “professional” in the area of expertise the student has selected (with varying degrees of celebrity). What happens next is completely interchangeable with every episode.
The coach and the student meet, the coach evaluates, eases them into some kind of training regiment and than turns up the juice. This either results in sending the student way out of their comfort zone or physically exhausting them to accomplish their goal in a 5 week time frame. The student at one point usually throws in the towel and completely gives up, which enrages the coach. These coaches stop their normal life to come down and train with these kids (whom more often than not have a terrible attitude while their being trained).
What always astounded me is one of two things. The MADE students when asked why they want to be “made” into what they have selected never do it because they have a genuine interest in it. It’s an alternate escape route from their normal life. They think by doing something radically different with their life, everything will change around them. Especially other people’s perception of them. That’s all well good, but in the meantime if you want to be “made” into a rapper, buy some rap cd’s or starting reading Vibe magazine. Your life goal is to be “made” into a surfer? Watch some goddamn surfing videos on the internet, familiarize yourself with a pro surfer before you meet your MADE coach.
The other thing is that none of these students want to try. Oh, you want to make your school’s soccer team this year? What did you think? Your MADE coach wouldn’t have you do a shitload of physical activities everyday? Give me a fucking break. What did you think playing soccer entailed? These fucking kids have no idea how lucky they are to have a professional come in and train them for FREE. Are we led to believe these are the values of suburban white middle to upper class (as is the class mostly shown on this show)?
Anyway, usually a day later the student generally becomes remorseful and reunites with the now skeptical MADE coach. The show is absurd, but seeing the students get reemed out and cry by their coach makes it easier to digest. If you’re really lucky, you will catch an episode where the student fails to achieve their goal. This actually happens more often than you’d expect and it almost makes the whole 60 minutes worth sitting through.