News came this weekend that the TLC (hey, remember when that stood for “The Learning Channel?” Ha ha, me neither.) “reality show” Sin City Rules was being cancelled after only airing a few episodes. Not surprisingly, this was met with applause from many quarters, because not only was the show a hideous train-wreck knock-off of The Real Housewives of Whatever, but it also had the dubious honor of being particularly reviled by those of us who call Las Vegas home, for a few reasons: First, it reinforced the ludicrous stereotypes of life in Sin City even as it claimed to show the “reality” of living here; secondly — and probably most noticeably — it proffered its “stars” as women of real power in Las Vegas, and yet almost no one I spoke to — including actual, real-life journalists and hospitality industry folks — had any clue who more than one or two of these women are.
I don’t watch much TV, aside from old episodes of my favorite scripted shows on DVD, and don’t usually pay much attention to any sort of mainstream media, but for some reason, when this show was first announced a month or two back, I had a very visceral reaction. I wanted to do something to counter the negative depiction of both women and my city that this show was putting out (apparently, unsuccessfully) into the world. So I decided to make my own promo video for a “reality” show that would feature the real women of Las Vegas who are contributing to our community in real, positive ways. People whose names are actually known because they’ve been intrenched within their respective industries and have become part of the rich fabric of the actual metropolis in which we live and work, not the imaginary one cooked up by throwing five strangers in front of a camera and playing to their basest emotions.
Here’s the result:
A big thanks goes out to Xania Woodman of Vegas Seven, Kari Haskell of Retro Bakery, Amy Finchem of COLAB Las Vegas, and Ginger Bruner of OurLasVegas for their participation in this. Please, I encourage you to share this on your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or whatever feeds. Go forth and put some positivity out there — some REALITY out there.
And to the producers of Sin City Rules: Thank you for the inspiration. Better luck next time?