This country loves a good gimmick. And that’s what 3D technology feels like to me. Tech trends come and go, but rarely does a fad of the past make such a strong comeback as 3D movies have. One of these days I’m just waiting to walk by an Urban Outfitters and see them hawking laser discs in the window. After all vinyl sales have been steadily climbing and you can always put a price tag on nostalgia. I understand the appeal. Seeing a movie on the big screen heightens the experience of movie watching, then add to that, flying objects at your face, and it’s like you’re at Disney World having a fully “interactive” experience. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not seen Avatar. I wasn’t taking a stand, I just was too lazy to get around to seeing it. The only movies I have seen in 3-D are as follows, Captain EO at the Epcot Center, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and most recently an impulsive late night trip to Times Square to see Journey to the Center of the Earth. No one needs to see Brendan Fraser’s acting THAT CLOSE.
3-D is now at a full blown fever pitch. Time Out New York recently published their 3-D issue complete with complimentary glasses and now Sony is launching their new 3-D television. After getting a recent sneak peak at the new TV itself, they also informed me of a new 3-D television channel and 3-D video games. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the idea of the family gathered around the TV with these weird bug looking glasses on for a couple of hours each day. Is it possible for a new entertainment format to already feel dated? As part of this new channel, both Discovery Channel and ESPN will be offering “in your face” programming. While I can imagine watching sharks jump through the air and NASCAR cars whizzing by your face, it made me wonder what type of programming would be hilariously awful in the 3-D format. So if this idea catches on and spreads to the other networks, here are a few shows you might be seeing popping out of your TV in the very near future.
Anything on TLC
From the people who brought us Emmy bait such as “Toddlers and Tiara’s”, “Say Yes to the Dress”, and my personal favorite, ” I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” ( or IDKIWP to fanboys) TLC’s programming schedule was practically made for the 3-D format. And since they’re owned by the same people who run the Discovery Channel, a cross-over could be imminent. After being forced to watch the “Miracle of Life” during sex ed in grade-school and the enduring trauma it caused, I can only imagine how many tubes will be tied after seeing A Baby Story or other delivery close-ups in 3-D. Just imagine the head popping out, it’s like being in the delivery room itself! If reality TV wasn’t real enough for you before, then TLC in 3-D is the channel for you.
All of Reality TV
The genre of reality TV is less than forgiving to its participants but can you imagine having to look at yourself from ALL angles in 3D? They say the camera adds 10 pounds, so I’m wondering what kind of weight your 3D self would put on, onscreen. God bless those people on the Biggest Loser. I’m sure they’d had to deal with enough crap in their life struggling with weight and then they go on national TV, work their asses off (literally) but really behind the scenes they’re forced to eat next to nothing and exercise til they puke. If the network really wanted to get some sweet ratings maybe they could have the people puke on-screen so then viewers could really get a feel of the type of experience they’re going through. I can’t think of better motivation to lose weight then seeing those fake fat weights they make those people carry around up close. P.S. If you’re interested, you can buy your very own fake fat online. Ah what a wonderful marketplace the internet is. I’m just waiting to see one of these show up on the free section of Craigslist.
How does any culture put to use new technology? For pornographic purposes obviously. If you didn’t know the answer to that immediately you were probably too busy watching porn. It was only a matter of time until 3D Porn DVD releases came onto the market, and I’m sure all those Skinamax channels will hump that bandwagon very soon. After that happens I can’t imagine people having any semblance of real expectations of sex. Critics have always bemoaned the pornification of our culture. So now that everyone is expected to be waxed, shaved, tweezed, and inflated to perfection, you’re now gonna have dudes who will be like, “well your rack is nice and all, but it’s only sort of 3D”. Is this what we’ve come to as a culture. How much more extreme can we push the genre of porn. Soon it’s going to be fucking Star Trek style hologram decks featuring simulated sex when you put your magic glasses on. Who needs real sex when you can have the girl of your dreams just by sliding on a pair of glasses? Maybe all those Sci-Fi movies were right. Props for predicting the porn trends of the future, Hollywood.
I think my major beef with the 3D trend is that it’s a step further back from reality. When you’re watching a movie or TV show your eyes start to relax and you don’t notice all the editing and cuts that are going on. You fall into the pace of the show and for just a little while, it feels like you’re watching something real unfold. But add some flying objects and glasses to the mix and it’s like you’re on some interactive theme ride at Dave & Busters than watching a movie. It’s distracting as hell. I don’t need to reach out and try to touch something to have it appear realisticly in front of me. To me, 3D is the middle man. Getting in the way of seeing a whole shot or beautiful cinematography. It may have made Michael Jackson look like a badass back in ’86, but as far as making it mainstream entertainment, I hope it’s just a flash in the pan.