Thursday, June 19, 2008

Does Leo DiCaprio Think We’re Stupid?

On Sunday night, I Tivo’d “Greensburg”—the Leonardo DiCaprio show about how the Kansas town turned tragedy into triumph by rebuilding green after being literally devastated by a tornado—and I just got around to watching it.

Wow. It was . . . umm . . . not what I expected.

I thought it was going to be a two-hour (inspirational) documentary. Instead, it is a (condescending) series. For some reason—or, rather, for many reasons—the fact that it’s a series turned it from real to reality TV (and we all know there’s very little reality in that genre). Conversations seemed forced or, worse, fake. I dare say that even the idea of going green didn’t come from the town manager, as presented, but by show producers.

So many TV shows are dumbed down. Here’s a news flash for producers: We’re not dumb. Some of us are actually very intelligent. A television screen is like an x-ray machine, revealing the truth and the lies. With “Greensburg,” I saw few truths.

I hope I’m wrong. I just don’t think I am.

For the record, I think the concept of a green town is brilliant. Can you imagine living in a place where every home and business is environmentally friendly? What I worry is missing is the green passion. Every home might be green, but are the homeowners shutting off the lights when they leave the room, using recycled toilet paper, and driving hybrids?

Or am I asking too much?

I realize that a green home/business is a huge, massive, monumental step, and if we all lived that way, we’d all be better off. But, to me, green comes from the inside out. If the house is green, but everything inside has off-gases and pollutants, it hardly matters. I’m not sure how many episodes are in the series and, perhaps, during the construction, Greensburg’s citizens do discover and develop a green passion. I hope so. I’m just not sure I can watch the show to the end. The forced and fake reality of it all makes me feel a little green (as in queasy).

Question of the blog: What did you think of “Greensburg”?


Anonymous said...

As a fellow environmentalist, I think the answer should be fairly obvious: the fact is, too many people ARE dumb about environmental activism.

It's probably "dumbed down", to use your phrase, to educate a larger audience (no doubt watching the series only because DiCaprio's name is attached to it). If so, then it's a good thing.

EcoVixen said...

Interesting point, however . . . I'm not reacting to the green elements of the show, but to the show itself. It was so fake (and, in THAT sense, "dumbed down").

That being said, I agree that any green education is a great thing. I just wish the series felt more authentic.

Anonymous said...

(same anon here; forgot my username, lol!) I hear that; I've seen too many things like that. Real activism is not something many of us - while, at least not here in the USA - seem capable of. We're pretty hedonistic in our lifestyles, so maybe they made it a "kinder, gentler" (snort) eco-show so as not to frighten off the masses.

Tony said...

I've watched the first few episodes... Did you notice in the beginning it says something like "Some scenes were recreated for clarity in storytelling."

It's a pretty unwatchable reality show. Completely devoid of actual, you know, environmental content other then people constantly gushing about how wonderfully green everything will be. (while they cut down a christmas tree, decorate it, and leave it lit in the middle of an empty town square)

They've built a few homes so far and about all the one person mentioned was how they chose high efficiency windows in their pre-built home that got transported on a giant gas guzzling trailer to their land... am I missing something here?