Friday, August 9, 2013

My long awaited & highly anticipated review of the "reality" TV show/Black Dog commercial - The Vineyard

For starters, I don't hate it.  You just have to be willing to suspend your beliefs in space, time, and physics in order to accept it (like the possibility of watching the sun set, then rise, on the same beach).  Coincidentally I was living on Martha's Vineyard in the summer of 2004 when MTV's Laguna Beach debuted, and that's what this show most reminds me of.  It was the first scripted reality program I remember watching where even though the premise was the cast members actual lives, they were still acting.  The Vineyard has a bit of The Real World mixed in as well; ranging from the spectacular house the show gives them to live in (in all my time there I can't believe I never knew of the illustrious "Black Dog house"), to the awkward first day arrival scene where they find their bedrooms and discuss who they want too hook up with, to the obligatory "boyfriend back home" plot line.

And in case anybody out there might actually question whether or not the kids are acting, notice how well they pretend to enjoy frolicking around in the freezing cold northern Atlantic in the month of May.  I can attest to the fact that there are real Vineyard people in it though, one of the local boys is someone I've seen around many times over the years.

My biggest complaint is how the show messes with the island's geography (I'm not even sure that's a real picture, it seems to be multiple places photo-shopped together).  The Black Dog store, restaurant, and the docks where they "work" at are all within a few hundred feet of each other (and their house is very close by) in Vineyard Haven.  In one scene a guy is looking for a girl at the store, and asks for her to come meet him at the dock.  But then when she does they're randomly standing in front of the harbor in Edgartown, on the other side of the island.  In another scenario two characters seem to be walking home from work, but somehow run into each other on the waterfront of a third town, Oak Bluffs.  In fact, a large portion of the show appears to be people making plans to "talk," and then meeting up to do so at various unexplainable locations.

By far the worst part is when a guy who's brand new to the island tells the girl who's been there for years that he wants to "show her something."  He then proceeds to take her to State Beach, maybe the most well known beach there is, and somewhere that people drive by every single day.  You have to be impressed with her acting when she says "any other places you know like this tell me, this is not something you see every day.  I've never even seen that spot on the island before," especially considering they show her jogging by the very same spot earlier in the episode.  This was just complete laziness on the part of the writers, there are a number of spectacular and mostly unknown hidden beaches right near where they live that could have been used for this purpose.

Despite all of this I do intend to keep watching, if for no other reason than to see if the handful of characters cast in the show are ever allowed to interact with any of the thousands of other "summer kids" and locals living there.  Episode 4 of The Vineyard airs Tuesday night at 10 pm on ABC Family.


  1. whens it on / what channel?

  2. Oh yeah, thanks. Updated the post, Tuesdays, 10 pm, ABC Family

  3. how did I not know about this?

  4. Probably because you don't watch a ton of ABC Family... check it out, you'll hate it after fifteen seconds, but could still be drawn to it...


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