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ADWEEK INTERVIEW: New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz takes a tough stand on reality TV shows

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by Adweek
February 20, 2012 9:48 AM
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Have you been surprised at any of the comments you’ve gotten about what you’ve written so far?
I don’t feel like Indiana Jones in front of the boulder at New York magazine. Everything that happened at [ex-employer] Salon is like what happened on the island of Lost. There were people who would comment on everything. On one level it was terrifying, but it was kind of nice. There were people who cared about every little thing.

You’re not a fan of Jersey Shore. Are you prepared to take heat from its big fan base among the magazine’s readers?
I have very particular tastes when it comes to reality TV. Just because people are stupid enough to be exploited doesn’t mean you should take advantage of them. My idea of a good reality show is like Survivor, where it’s goal-directed and they have to use their minds to solve problems.

You have a soft spot for doomed shows like Pan Am and Community. Do you hope that by writing about them you can save them?
I want people who make these shows to know someone appreciates what they’re doing, even though they’re not quite pulling it off. I’m 43 years old. I want to see things I haven’t seen before. I think Pan Am is trying to be extremely rich and extremely light at the same time. They haven’t quite mastered the art of making a soufflé every week.

You can read the rest of Adweek's interview with Matt Zoller Seitz here.

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