Monday, May 12, 2008

All TV: Amanda from MTV's 'The Paper' speaks, 'House' review

In today's column, I confront my newfound devotion to MTV's "The Paper," and talk to the show's star, Amanda, about the experience of filming it:
A few months away from aging out of MTV's target demographic, I find myself riveted by programming on the channel for the first time since "The Real World" allowed in anything but unemployed boozehounds. "The Paper" (10:30 p.m., MTV), about the staff of an award-winning high school newspaper in Florida, is addictive not just because I work in newspapers (and was editor of my own high school paper), but because it does such an excellent job of capturing the emotional turmoil, casual cruelty and unexpected joys of high school life.

The show's tragic heroine is Amanda Lorber, the bespectacled editor in chief, whose promotion to the top job in the first episode led to a schism with other seniors who wanted the job. The bitter runners-up - including Amanda's one-time close friend Alex - have tried to undermine and subvert Amanda's authority at every turn, and are often seen cruelly making fun of her behind her back.

Though Amanda is shown to be bossy and not always socially graceful, the show is clearly on her side - tonight's episode frequently doubles back to show examples of how the other kids are liars and hypocrites in their dealings with her - and there are moments when "The Paper" can be as uncomfortable as a particularly squirmy episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" or "The Office," or even certain Jane Austen adaptations on PBS.

One person who doesn't find the show tough to watch? Amanda herself.
To read the full thing -- including a short preview of tonight's "House" -- click here.


Unknown said...

i have nothing remotely insightful to add, but i am wholly obsessed with "the paper" too. the "high school musical" montage from the last episode was perfect. so was alex asking alix to be his girflriend via text message at the dave matthews band concert.

but really, mtv needs to show it's human more often. this, "made," and "true life" are really all its got.

Anonymous said...

The commercials for this show were a complete turn off for me. First of all, they made Amanda seem incredibly annoying. Second, even though I was friends with the type of people who would be on the school paper, I'm shallow and would rather watch a show about rich/pretty kids. Sorry! More importantly, though, watching a bunch of kids freak out over the school paper is hard for me to stomach when I know what a joke the paper was at my school. I guess The Podium fell a long way after you left, Alan.

Anonymous said...

This show is awesome. I love Amanda. I remember those bitches on the soccer team acting just like those back-stabbing editors. High School kids are so cruel.

Anonymous said...

I'm hooked on "The Paper" too. It's a good reminder of exactly why I wouldn't want to go back to high school. And I like that the show is on Amanda's side, rather than painting her as the tyrannical "Paris Gellar" of the show. Glad to see she's not letting it all bother her too much - she's definitely going places.

I'm a little surprised that they're airing the show while the kids are still in school together. Awkward!