Anybody see Adrian Grenier’s HBO special, “Teenage Paparazzo?” The film dealt with the question of why the world seems so transfixed by celebrity. Much of Grenier’s limelight has come from playing Vincent on the HBO show, “Entourage.” In the series, he plays a celebrity who gets loads of attention from adoring fans. Grenier is puzzled that because he plays that character, in real life he also enjoys that same attention and adoration. While he doesn’t eschew the fame, he does note that the adoration is “insidious.” My take on that is that attention from fans is probably like the best high, and like a recreational drug, it’s still craved when it’s absent.
Grenier tries to get his answers from the inside out; he focused on a thirteen year old boy Austin, who is a kid paparazzo, and sprinkled in philosophies from professional educators, and reflections from other mega stars. The idea I liked best was from Henry Jenkins, Professor of Media Studies , MIT. Ages ago we lived in small towns and villages where everyone knew everyone. Gossip was about the town drunk or the village harlot. Because we have become so global, we can’t talk about the crackhead next door or the idiot down the street because the other person doesn’t know them, so we discuss celebrities. Essentially it’s not so much about the celebrity, it’s about coming together to discuss something we have in common. It’s really about modern day socializing. Family and friends are no longer nuclear – we live all over the country and the world. Celebrities are what we have in common; they bring us together. As Jenkins says, “It’s a vehicle to share values.”
It’s a very intelligent and entertaining exploration – see it if you can. Let me know what you think.1 Recommend