Women in Television 2: Vanity, Thy Name Is Screen Test

By Cooke, Rachel | New Statesman (1996), May 30, 2005 | Go to article overview

Women in Television 2: Vanity, Thy Name Is Screen Test


Cooke, Rachel, New Statesman (1996)


By the time you read this, it will have started. Big Brother, I mean, not the summer. My heart sinks like a stone in a cold canal at the thought. In the early days, I admit I was hooked. But now we are beginning series SIX, for goodness sake, and all I can think is: if only the rain would keep off, I could lock the television in my leaky shed, bury the key under a bramble bush, and avoid the tiresome, squalid, silted-up mess altogether.

Of course, even if I were to do that, I would not be safe. Worse even than the show itself is its long, slow leach into everything else. Its tentacles are every-where. In a recent documentary about Abi Titmuss, the journalist Rod Liddle suggested that Titmuss is as important a weathervane of sexual mores as Alfred Kinsey ever was. This is rubbish, naturally, but typical of the way many of our commentators look for significance in the shouty unpleasantness that is reality TV.

At bottom, when you shove to one side all the clever talk about the unnatural value our society places on celebrity, television is about vanity, isn't it? The money is nice, but it's a person's head that is turned, not their bank balance. I know this because, this month, in the face of everything that I believe and everything I know about myself, I took--oh, God--a screen test. Nothing will come of it. For one thing, I look not unlike a frog in still photographs, so the Lord alone knows how I might appear in motion--like a frog on speed, probably. For another, I appeared on TV once before, and it was a disaster of buttock-clenching proportions.

I was asked, by a friend, to appear in a BBC4 show called the Battle of the Books. The conceit was a courtroom-type situation, in which one book would be pitched against another. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Women in Television 2: Vanity, Thy Name Is Screen Test
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.