There's reality TV and then there's "reality" TV. The latter category is more forced, less real. Situations are far more manipulated, the people in front of the cameras are actors, and outcomes are (or feel) far more predetermined.
The Two Coreys, is about to begin its second season on A&E, and most definitely falls into the latter category. Following the present-day exploits of momentary '80s teen heartthrobs Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, the show jumps from one contrived moment to the next, and appears to have nary a care for what is "real."
The show begins six months after the first season finished, with Haim and Feldman not having spoken to each other during the whole time (we're told). The two are due to have their first meeting, really a confrontation, at a deli, and things appear to not be headed in the right direction. From there, the first episode backtracks to explain how it is that Haim and Feldman find themselves sitting down in the diner, what happened over the course of the past two days (despite their not speaking to each other for six months) to bring them to that point.
There's no particular reason for the story to be told in that fashion, but it's interesting enough. The bigger problem is that the show never really gets into what happened to bring the two men to this point. The audience sees that they're not speaking, but the near fisticuffs of the first season's finale are missing.
Even that, however, is forgivable. It's clear enough that the two had a serious falling out. What makes the episode so odd is that the multiple times we see the scene in the diner, or the bits and pieces of it, it unfolds somewhat differently. The conversation doesn't actually happen the same way each time we see snippets of it. Clearly the conversation is highly edited, and highly edited in different ways each time it is shown. Most assuredly reality shows involve a large amount of editing, but if a single conversation is to be shown repeatedly throughout an episode, it is hugely disconcerting when it doesn't occur in the same way.
But, let's shove that aside for a minute as, let's admit it, no one is watching The Two Coreys for cinematic brilliance nor, in all likelihood, for any great truth. The point of the show is to watch the lives, whether they be real or "real," of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman and how they intersect. The basic problem then with the way that the season opens is that the lives do not intersect terribly much. The two characters are not speaking, do not wish to speak, and, only grudgingly, agree to go to "couples' counseling" in the second episode of the season.
While it may be interesting to watch the loves of some stars unfold before our eyes, watching Corey Haim and Corey Feldman twenty years past their heyday is somewhat distressing. Both of their lives, at least as they pertain to the show, are arrested and despite both Coreys' insistence they want to move past that time and possibly each other, the fact that they are doing the show together remains.
The two men are locked in a game of one-upmanship, even to the point of both of their arguing about who is to blame for not stopping the other one's being molested. It is a sad, distressing thing to watch. One certainly wishes the best for both Haim and Feldman, that they manage to overcome their demons, that success and happiness is around the corner, and that there are better projects than this one in the future for each man.
The second season of The Two Coreys premieres on A&E Sunday, June 22 at 10pm.