There are so many reality shows to choose from that I find myself like Goldilocks with a remote control: "The Real World is too stupid and drunk. The Apprentice is too business-oriented. Survivor is too stressful and physically unpleasant-seeming."
But darlings, I've finally found the one that's just right: Miss Seventeen, a new offering from MTV, the granddaddy of reality TV.
Its premise: "17 accomplished and ambitious young women compete in weekly character-testing challenges, all under the watchful eye of Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief Atoosa Rubenstein." They're competing for a summer internship at Seventeen, which, OK I could make fun of it, but I might as well just admit that I would have killed for such a thing about 10 years ago, which probably adds to the appeal of the show.
They're not kidding about the accomplished part: the cast is full of National Honor Society/student council president/valedictorian/newspaper editor types. This suggests that Miss Seventeen will avoid the kind of dialogue that has come to be the norm on most reality TV, that is, a near-meaningless collection of words that makes you worry about possible mass aphasia.*
But lest you are concerned that all the smarty-pantsiness will make the show boring, rest assured that the cast also contains a disproportionate number of cheerleaders and pageant participants. The show thus promises to contain large amounts of frightening cheerfulness layered with frequent accusations of "fakeness" and perforated by intermittent bursts of weeping.
Also, almost every single one of these 18-to-20 year olds claims that she wants to run her own business one day, meaning either they are big bullshitters or they already know that they can't work well with others. Either way, a bunch of chipper recent high schoool graduates who think of themselves as superstar leaders, forced to live and work together: a recipe for delicious disaster!
* Yeahhh, aphasia, big word! It means the loss of the ability to use or understand language! I read about it in the New Yorker this afternoon in a coffee shop! Because I had already finished Entertainment Weekly! Ahh, unemployment, how I love you.