Saturday, June 24, 2006

American Beauty

RIP, Aaron Spelling
Legendary TV Producer,
dies aged 83. A hugely influential figure in pop-culture. As well as a stack of TV movies, his dizzying array of hit series include: Charlie's Angels, The Mod Squad, Starsky & Hutch, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Dynasty, Melrose Place, Hart to Hart, Beverly Hills 90210, and Models Inc.
Go on, admit it! You liked at least one of his shows.
..critics denounced Spelling for fostering fluff.. called his shows "mind candy"..
"Charlie's Angels" ushered in a genre known as "jiggle TV" for its gratuitous focus on the female form
Indeed. His unabashed glorification of beauty (both male & female) became his signature trait. I consider it an art form. A convergence of TV with glamour photography. Some mock his overblown style as unnatural, unreal & superficial. But all art is artifice, all art is artificial. Superficial? TV is merely images on your screen. How deep is a pixel?

Imo, Melrose Place broke new ground and shattered all aesthetic boundaries. Soaps have always used pretty faces, but even MP's villains were drop-dead gorgeous. A glossy mag come alive, a blemish-free world, all ugliness banished. Every scene, every frame rendered as if a high fashion photo shoot; fastidious attention to lighting, colour, pose, style, atmosphere - beauty for beauty's sake.

Imo, Spelling's influence extends to not only the hi-glam shows such as Sex & The City and Desperate Housewifes, where couture features as prominently as the action, but also that genre of immaculately crafted, lovingly air-brushed pop-tart MTV videos, that Britney Spears so perfectly epitomises. Art directors, stylists and make-up artists rule supreme. No longer does musical or acting talent suffice. In the tyrannical world of telegenesis, looking sensational is all that matters: "I'm pretty, therefore I am!"
Long live the Pretty People!

[Hattip: Dreadnought]

1 comment:

ruth said...

I disagree. If the story lines didn't cut it his series would not have lasted as long as they did. Beauty was secondary.

I will miss him too.