By Charlotta Jarborg
Curious about what goes on behind the scenes at a school newspaper? You could: a) join the Bullet team and see for yourself, or b) you could keep chilling on the couch and tune into MTV’s latest reality show entitled “The Paper,” which airs Monday, April 14 at 10:30 pm, after “The Hills.”
Despite having written two pieces on “The Hills” star Heidi Montag, the only thing of interest when it comes to Montag, in my opinion, is her dabbling in music, not her contributions to the hit show, which include both pouting and eye rolling. MTV seems to share my boredom with the show by airing double episodes each week to reach the finale as soon as possible.
This is where “The Paper” comes in. Swapping bleached blondes for brains, the MTV News and Documentary unit follows four high school wannabe journalists at Cypress Bay High School in Broward County, FL. Students are competing to become editor in chief of their paper “The Circuit.”
This is a far cry from Laguna Beach or The Hills, where the main story line, if indeed there is such a thing, is a mixture of gossip, hook-ups, shopping, and awkward re-enactments of conversations for editing purposes, and more gossip. In “The Paper,” the viewer finally sees a different side of America’s youth; a smarter, wittier and hopefully more entertaining side.
MTV is usually very good at luring me in to new shows and this time is no exception. Their team of editors did a brilliant job at collecting humorous scenes to introduce Amanda, one of the hopeful EIC potentials at “The Circuit.” A ball of blonde energy and brimming with confidence, Amanda was made for the camera, delivering random, quirky and amusing one-liners such as: “procrastination is a faux” and “a purple edit is a happy edit,” as she draws a smiley face in purple colored pencil.
It isn’t surprising that people working in newsrooms everywhere would be supportive of a show like “The Paper.” Melissa Hanna, reporter at The Athens Banner-Herald writes: “The show is up against big odds. The drama behind this show will lie in high-schoolers gathering a story instead of spreading rumors about their best friend’s boyfriend.” Hanna has faith that teens will be attracted to something attainable, rather than superficial wealth.
Hanna also includes a quote by Dave Kolko, a producer-director of “The Paper,” who told the Miami Herald: “It’s not hot tubs and Jacuzzis. It’s real kids. It’s a professionally done newspaper.
If you are worried that a show which actually shows kids at school rather than kids at the beach will lack in drama, have no fear. As a young man who goes by “Kufre,” on the show’s comments section on mtv.com eloquently puts it: “I didn’t know that a newspaper could cause so much drama!! I guess high school is High SCHOOL!!”