If you walk up to someone and say “June 17th, 1994” to them, you’d probably get a bemused expression. That’s probably what Brett Morgen, the director of the excellent ESPN documentary “June 17th, 1994” was faced with when he pitched his concept. While June 17th, 1994 may seem like just a random day; it was, in fact, a day where a great confluence of different memorable moments occurred. Arnold Palmer’s final major, New York Rangers victory parade after their first title in about 60 years, the New York Knicks locked in a tight playoff series with the Houston Rockets, opening day of Major League Baseball and O.J Simpson driving down the freeway in a white Ford Bronco with suicidal intentions. What it is most about is how the latter event seeped into the others.

It wasn’t your typical documentary. Brett Morgen edited broadcasts from the day in question. No interviews, no talking heads, no historical interpretations; just the footage laid bare. By doing this he turned the past tense into the present tense. Watching “June 17th, 1994” you essentially became a channel hopping viewer; flicking between different stations to try and keep up with all that what was happening around you.

I could easily write just about the documentary itself, because it is a fantastic piece of work, but what really struck me was something Brett Morgen said in a mini interview during the credits. He put forth the argument that June 17th, 1994 was the day that the reality entertainment phenomenon was born; the American public much rather wanted to watch a white Ford drive really slowly down a highway than anything else. That white truck captured people’s imagination because it was real life drama, with real life consequences, and real life people. It’s as if at that moment everyone decided that this is the type of entertainment they craved. I think that White Ford bronco is such a fantastic metaphor for the reality TV generation that we now inhabit.

That White Ford rolling slowly down a highway , with people cheering from the overpass and OJ sobbing in the drivers seat is the representation of our desire peek through the keyhole into other people’s lives. That single moment was the watershed for our collective societal voyeurism. We want real, even if it is only the appearance of real. We don’t care that MTV told Spencer Pratt exactly what to do; it’s the idea that it’s “real” that we find so appealing. It’s not reality television, it’s verisimilitude television.

It is our very own manufactured reality and that’s just the way we like it.

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