Since we announced its cast, Annie has seemed like a weird fit for Frank the Entertainer…in A Basement Affair. It turns out that she is…on purpose. In a development I accidentally predicted in my first-episode recap of the show, Annie joined A Basement Affair originally “to do a wacky performance piece, attempting to play up the ridiculousness that is reality television and the characters it produces, a satire on a genre that is already a satire of itself. I was interested in the way reality television is reproducing female stereotypes at an alarming rate—using ‘real’ people to validate these stereotypes’ existence.”
That’s from her new series of blogs on Bust she calls “Shaming the Famewhores.” It was only a matter of time before someone with such interests invaded reality TV, especially 51 Minds’ hyper-referential, tongue-in-cheek brand of it. And after all, as Annie writes, “performing a character is more or less what many contestants are doing anyways, just not under the guise of art critique.” So now in addition to, say, the stripper, the singer out to launch her career, the mom reliving her childhood, the barroom brawler and the self-appointed princess, we have a new type to add to the stew: the cultural critic.
Interestingly, Annie writes about only being able to keep up the guise for so long: though she auditioned in character, once in the house “the pressure to perform (both for my own artistic goals and for the entertainment of the show itself) crippled me.” And so, the real Annie emerged and that legitimate persona just happened to dig Frank. In the end, something perhaps even less likely than joining reality TV for socially conscious reasons emerged: “I wanted to legitimately compete in a game for his affections (rather than camera time) because I believed that would be the most ridiculous thing to do. And that was what no one else was really doing.”
Annie promises more blogs that undoubtedly will only serve to enrich the experience of watching A Basement Affair. As if there weren’t enough layers of awareness in this artichoke of a reality TV genre already, here’s another incredibly tasty one. What’s amazing is that she went in completely cerebral and ended up doing something much closer tied to emotions. Sounds a little like the way love sometimes just spontaneously happens. Yet again, here’s proof that Annie is one of a kind. [Bust]