April 22, 2010
Bob Saget frat party
A few months ago, I saw an article about a new reality show coming up on A&E that will feature Bob Saget going around America, spending time with various sub-cultures and documenting all the weird things they do. Some of the show's sub-cultures would probably be biker gangs, mail-order brides, a survivalist cult, a fraternity, and the Amish.
Obviously this sounds like an excellent show, but I was especially excited because it sounded sort of like a TV version of some of David Foster Wallace's best essays about sub-cultures and regional cultural events around America that are full of people who are part of a very specific sub-culture, though often are not at all aware that their culture is different or notable in any way.
If you think about DFW's essays where he interacts with people who go on cruises ("A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"), people at rural state ag fairs ("Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All"), or people at local food festivals ("Consider the Lobster"), they could have a lot in common with watching Bob Saget at a barn raising or at a frat formal. Saget will probably be a less brilliant and analytical (and, OK, neurotic) guide through American sub-cultures than DFW, but I bet he'll be just as eager to blend in and become an accepted temporary member of the group.
Anyway, production of the show is happening right now at Cornell, where Saget is spending time at Seal & Serpent, an independent society that was apparently more open than the mainstream Greek frats to letting TV crews in to record their secret rituals and underage drinking. Producers apparently went to initiation (a friend who was a member of S&S back in the day says Bob Saget would have made his own initiation "a lot cooler") and will also record a weekend party and that most bizarre of college events, where teens put on dressy clothes and behave like feral libertines at an orgy, the fraternity formal.
Cornell students are excitedly following Saget all over Ithaca, and I would bet Seal & Serpent's party this weekend will be really well attended.
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