Saturday, April 11, 2009

Poor performance

While flipping channels I found the new Real World/Road Rules challenges. And though in the past I enjoyed watching these shows, they do seem a bit juvenile now. (Boy, don't I sound mature/elitist!) At the opening of the show, which is what originally caught my attention, the contestants/paid reality TV characters were performing a poor version of the haka, the traditionally New Zealand tribal dance. While it has long been a tradition for rugby players (specifically the NZ All Blacks), it is a respected dance challenge (at least the peruperu version the contestants were imitating), which supposedly conjures the gods to protect a specific tribe during battle.

I know there are some discrepancies about whether the haka can be jovial, can be performing by both sexes, and can be used recreationally. Traditionalists will argue no, while contemporaries will argue yes. Whatever your opinion, it seems trite and disrespectful for a bunch of these people to perform it on the opening to a reality television series to essentially do nothing besides mock it. I'd like to see the males on this show take on the All Blacks. Then we'll see what sort of competition there is.

I know as a former rugby player that there are probably some unhappy ruggers around the world now, having viewed this.

Quick update: one of the first 'challenges' on the show is essentially a rugby game. Seems like MTV is just trying to exploit any niche they can find in a nation's pastimes for the enjoyment of less informed audiences. Sad.

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