Extreme Makeover director has storm victims fake their reactions to Laura Bush

Laura Bush taped her appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition yesterday. “She met with some of the victims, passed out clothing and listened intently to tales of destruction, with a film crew following her and a boom microphone hovering overhead,” the New York Times reports.

But the real story was that the number one feel-good reality show, taking time out to help hurricane victims, had to encourage real people to be fake. Because, like, their real reactions to seeing the First Lady wouldn’t have been real enough.

The New York Times reports from the scene in Biloxi, Miss.:

Keeping the excitement up on Tuesday was no great feat; if anything, producers had to plead for calm. Storm victims who had gathered at the Biloxi Community Center, where clothes donated by Sears, a show sponsor, were being distributed, waited eagerly with their cameras for Mrs. Bush to arrive.

“People walking in here, this is a surprise for you!” one director shouted at the crowd. “Don’t stand here looking like you know what’s coming.”

Ironically, when asked about whether or not Laura Bush’s appearance was a political stunt, executive producer Tom Forman said, “The thing about making this show is I packed up and put away my cynicism a long time ago.”

Apparently, he packed his cynicism away right next to his scruples and integrity.

Laura Bush Joins Hit Makeover Show as It Focuses on Storm Victims [New York Times]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.