Are You Ready For Fishtown Class Wars, The Reality Show?

Well, it doesn’t really matter if you’re ready or not, because it might already be happening:

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What’s more, lest you think Powderhouse Productions be some fly by night thing or someone’s idea of a joke, well, nope! The outfit already has shows in production (including one about Southie Bostoners) across a variety of cable networks. Just think: This could do for the guy down your street who says “liberry” what Parking Wars did for the PPD!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682299931 Christopher Sawyer

    I hope the Southie (Boston) version is run back to back with the Fishtown one. Or in Southie-speak “ya fuckin better fuckin hope we fuckin have fuckin Southie on fuckin before fuckin Philly because fuckin Philly idda fuckin cesspit motherfuckin place those fuckin attholes”

  • Guest

    Sorry for moving in and raising property values.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682299931 Christopher Sawyer

    Can I sell my house to myself and buy it back for $400K more so I bust everyone else’s comps?

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.kilroy Shawn Kilroy

    “preserve the traditions only known to the locals”

    stompin ethnic minorities who mistakenly enter the triangle.

  • fishtownTV

    Greetings PowderHouse,

    I came across your Craigslist post today in search of Fishtown families to cast in your new reality show. I am an artist, a musician and a first time homeowner in Fishtown. I am gainfully employed, I own and care for a purebred dog who is spoiled by long walks. I don’t have an Etsy site (yet), but I do repurpose old wood and artifacts for homemade furniture in my small rowhome. I am in my early thirties and my glasses are framed in dark plastic and my pants fit rather snug. I grew up elsewhere, but now call Fishtown home. Upon first glance, I am a yuppie, a hipster, a scenester and a “newbie” as we are often referred to in the neighborhood. Not surprisingly, many of my friends are cut from the same mold. I am the perfect candidate for an antagonistic role in your new show, the type that the hard-working Fishtown families you seek have grown to despise, a symbol of unwanted change in a neighborhood so rich with history. However, like television, not everything is so black and white and I invite you to live here for a bit and get to know some of my neighbors. They are kind, reasonable and thoughtful people who maybe didn’t see “us” coming, but they’re putting up with our bikes and dogs, bands and parties just fine.

    For a moment let’s consider a few facts that unlike most of television programming are rooted in reality:

    1) Housing in Fishtown is affordable, which has made it not only a destination for young professionals seeking home ownership, it is appealing to Steven Starr as well generations of families who have been here for years.

    2) Before humans began walking upright, different “groups” have merged in and out of each other’s “territories” and often social friction has occurred.

    3) Social friction can lead to neighborly disputes, parking battles and occasionally violence. And anyone who watched Snooki get punched in the face by a man knows violence equals great television ratings.

    As you begin the casting process for what might be a very entertaining show, pause for a moment and consider the more long term ramifications that could shake up such an interesting and promising neighborhood long after the pilot episode has aired.

    Two “groups” of people will be cast against each other in a war of class. Emotions will rise and sides will be taken. I’m sure you’ll find a way to squeeze humor out of a very real situation, but at whose expense? Next door neighbors might begin to feel insecure or unsafe going about their everyday affairs. And being such a family neighborhood, where children of both “new” and “old” parents are being born everyday, these scenarios and judgments will unavoidably be shared with the younger generations, perpetuating a sense of social imbalance and inequality. Perhaps after a particularly heated episode, a sideways glance from a “local” is misinterpreted by a “yuppie” which leads to an exchange in words. From there, an argument ensues. Tires are slashed, punches are thrown. Retaliation and revenge. What if someone is hospitalized or killed? These things happen in Philadelphia. These things can happen in Fishtown. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I knew something I created something for the purpose of entertainment led to violence.

    There is precedence set for successful reality TV shows “glorifying” a class of people, or a way of life different from our own. The Jersey Shore is a mildly entertaining trainwreck as is any Real Housewives spin-off. Jack-Ass made homo-erotic physical risk funny. John and Kate Plus 8 made having more than one baby at a time just plain crazy. But these shows feature one group, one ridiculous subculture at war with themselves. There has yet to be a show pitting the residents of a relatively quiet and generally hard-working neighborhood against each other in the name of fear of change and disgust in those who are different.

    Based on a response to the fear of something unfamiliar, humans are always quick to recognize “in” groups and “out” groups, and identify ourselves with one of them. It is a coping mechanism which allows us to feel a bit more in control and a bit safer. It is a limited view and an easy way out. At the end of the day the residents of Fishtown are so very similar. We are all human beings who suffer and rejoice in the same way, love our familes and our traditions in the same way, and value a peaceful place to call home. And for the most part, the residents of Fishtown are white.

    It is one of Philadelphia’s first cases of white on white gentrification which it seems you have identified as a way to create tension amongst citizens without playing the race card. Would the same show about the white/black gentrification of the Graduate Hospital neighborhood get this far into production? I doubt it, no one wants to watch primetime racism.

    You’ve used such strong catch phrases to attract the most disgruntled Fishtown families: “pissed off” and “HATE”. I understand using terms like “compassionate” and “ACCEPTANCE” wouldn’t yield the same results, but these are the values a neighborhood like Fishtown should embrace. These are the most fundamental values that are innate to all of us, and they should be encouraged in small, economically deprived urban areas as well as on a global level.

    Again, I am an artist and a creator. I am not a critic. I firmly believe to counter an idea or the creative process of someone else, an alternative should to be offered. I’d like to pitch to you a slightly different version of a similar show:

    In a Survivor-like platform, teams comprised of both “old” and “new” residents are formed in an all out battle of physical, social and creative challenges. Bands are formed by neighbors who might not normally hang out, and a Battle of the Bands is held at Johnny Brendas! “Fishtown History” quiz shows at Les and Doreens! Arctic Splash chug-offs at Frankford Hall! Craft beer chug-offs at Craftwork! Doggie Dress Up Halloween parade at Triangle Park! Block Party Competition! Pajama bottom fashion show at Circle Thrift! Losing teams will be forced to sweep up construction debris on Belgrade and winners can blow a handsome reward package at SugarHouse followed by lap dances at Club Oz.

    Yes, there will be obvious differences amongst the teammates and competing teams, and a bit of fun will be gently poked at each “group”. There will be communication breakdowns and subtitles will be used when regional accents or hip slang phrases don’t seem to resemble anything found in the either dictionary; Urban or Oxford. With the right editing, everyone will look like a jack-ass and it would be hilarious. But much like the civil rights movement or Different Strokes it would be about two not-so-different groups of people learning to coexist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marshall.kavanaugh Marshall James Kavanaugh

    The only interactions I’ve had with Fishtown locals have been positive. One time a guy bought me a beer at Memphis Taproom because he said by me being a creative type (a writer) I was raising the property value of his family’s house that they had owned for multiple generations and that he grew up in. He only expressed sincere gratefulness for adding a positive element to the neighborhood. Any class wars here are purely made up or just from grumpy people looking for something to complain about. I’ve never witnessed it.

    Yuppies on the other hand…..there should be a reality tv show about how they have no idea where the heck they are, because the realtor never talked about the neighborhood they were moving into, and it should take place in Point Breeze.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682299931 Christopher Sawyer

    Is there a TL/DR version?