March 16, 2006

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Pop Culture: MTV: Back in Nashua?
Music channel looks to Gate City for next Made
By Kristin Brodeur news@hippopress.com

When you think of MTV, Nashua probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Nevertheless, Nashua has been at the top of MTV’s radar screen for the past year, and that trend doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. Recently, a teen from Bishop Guertin High was featured in an episode of My Super Sweet 16, a girl from Nashua High North was featured in an episode on Made, and two former Real World cast members are rumored to own an apartment in Nashua as well. MTV loves Nashua.

Last season on Made, the MTV documentary series, Mary Feenan, then a freshman at Nashua North, was chosen to appear. The show is a way for students to achieve goals that they could never accomplish without some outside help. Though the episode aired with Feenan being made into a cheerleader, she has admitted that she originally auditioned to be a track star.

“[MTV] got back to me and said, ‘Well, you look like a runner, so we need it to be more interesting, so pick something else,” Feenan said in an interview with Ben Proulx for a Nashua High News broadcast.

After going through swimming, soccer, and even dancing, MTV picked cheerleading for her. Feenan also admitted that probably about 70 percent of the show was staged.

“A lot of people were really annoying and loud, so we had to re-do a lot of scenes,” Feenan said. “The producers liked that, because when you get to re-do scenes, they get to in-put what they want you to say into it.”

Despite all of that, however, Feenan still considers her time with Made to be a “great experience.”

Last month, students vied for the chance to become the “next Mary Feenan” when MTV came back to Nashua and held auditions at Nashua High School South for the upcoming season of Made. South principal Jennifer Seusing said MTV called the school to see if they would be interested in holding auditions. Though Seusing had never seen the episode with Feenan, she “had heard about the positive experience at North and thought the South students might like to participate.”

Her instincts were correct, as about 50 students came to audition for the show. Each student received a packet to fill out about what they wanted to be made into and why. The actual audition, or, as Made casting director Tory Asness prefers to say, interview, was more or less a videotaped version of each student answering the questions in the packet.

Kayla McDowell, a sophomore at South, was among the many students hoping to be chosen for the show. Unlike her peers, however, McDowell wanted to do something to help the entire school district, not just herself.

“I want to be made into a fundraiser,” McDowell declared. (Yes, you read that right, a fundraiser.)

When asked to specify what exactly that means, the 16-year-old explained that she wants to be able to get donations from companies to help out the Nashua School District, which is going through such an extreme budget cut that there have been talks of getting rid of block scheduling and even sports.

“My idea is unlike any that have been on the show, and if I’m chosen, MTV could help thousands of kids, not just me.”

Among those going the more traditional route is Katie DiCicco, also a sophomore. DiCicco tried out to play the snare drum — a position in the band normally filled by guys.

“I want to show other people in our school that girls can do what guys can do too,” DiCicco said.

She thinks MTV’s involvement in Nashua is great, because the city “isn’t all that popular.” When asked if she would adjust her goal if MTV made her, she agreed, saying that she’s always ready to try new things. DiCicco admitted, though, that her friends are skeptical about the whole process.

“My friends kind of think I’m crazy, because they don’t think I’ll make it.”

Besides fundraising and snare drum playing, South students auditioned to become belly dancers, boxers, hockey players, rappers and much more. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any of these students will be chosen for the show.

“We like to go to a lot of schools, and kind of see what the best is from all of the schools that we go to,” Arness said.


Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

TV Teens: How realistic are they?
By Kristin Brodeur

In Fox’s The O.C. and the WB’s One Tree Hill, the main characters are all seniors in high school. Do these shows accurately portray the lives of teenagers today? We talked to real high school seniors at Nashua High South to decide whether the characters could pass as real-life teens.

Seth Cohen, The O.C.
Loves comic books and has a plastic horse named Captain Oats
Has loved the same girl since he was in elementary school, and named his boat after her despite the fact that he’d never talked to her before
Started dating said girl as a sophomore in high school
Experimented with pot after freaking out about leaving for college
Believability Factor (out of 10): 8
A Real Senior Says: “Classic closet nerd…very believable. Being obsessed with the same girl for a long time? Kind of cliché, but I’ve known a few like him.” – Kerry Gleeson

Lucas Scott, One Tree Hill
Lives to play basketball
Has a heart problem, but isn’t taking medicine because he can’t afford it and wants to continue playing basketball
Saved his father from dying in a fire, even though they hate each other
Despite cheating on his girlfriend with her best friend, is still viewed as one of the most kind and sympathetic guys out there
Believability Factor (out of 10): 6
A Real Senior Says: “[Lucas’] problems are somewhat realistic, like his dating problems, but others, such as his heart condition ,are less believable.” – Carolyn Caisse

Marissa Cooper, The O.C.
Almost died from a drug overdose
Shot her boyfriend’s brother to save said boyfriend’s life
Got kicked out of her private high school and then, thanks to her friends, was re-accepted
Refused the advances of a love-struck friend, and inadvertently caused his death
Believability Factor (out of 10): 2
A Real Senior Says: “Marissa is nothing like an everyday teen. She somehow gets out of every problem that she gets into, no matter how bad in real life, we have consequences.”
– Kelsey Cote

Haley James Scott, One Tree Hill
Got married during her sophomore year of high school
Toured the country as a rock singer
Was a geeky smart girl, but after tutoring the star of the basketball team, she married him and became popular
Gave up fame and fortune to come back home, finish high school, and be with her husband
Believability Factor (out of 10): 4
A Real Senior Says: “I don’t think it’s very realistic because she got married and had such a serious relationship [at such a young age].” – Megan Ackerman

Ryan Atwood, The O.C.
Was adopted into a rich family after getting arrested for stealing a car
Impregnated an ex-girlfriend who pretended to have a miscarriage so he could live a normal life
Dated two girls who are related to his adopted family (though he didn’t know at the time)
Saved his girlfriend from a psycho stalker and prevented the stalker from committing suicide
Believability Factor (out of 10): 5
A Real Senior Says: “It’s pretty lucky that Sandy Cohen happened to be assigned Ryan’s case. Also, since moving in with the Cohens, Ryan’s given up his vices pretty easily, which doesn’t seem fitting with his personality.” – Nancy Bruckman

Nathan Scott, One Tree Hill
Got married during his sophomore year of high school
Went into a building where someone was shooting in order to save his wife
Gets jealous very easily
Became emancipated from his parents as a junior in high school
Believability Factor (out of 10): 7
A Real Senior Says: “Nathan acts immature at times, which is believable, but the fact that he’s married and never has to consult his parents for anything isn’t typical.” – Casey Tobin

Summer Roberts, The O.C.
After years of doing horribly in school, scored a 2300 on her SATs
As a sophomore was very ditzy and a huge party girl, but is now very sweet and hardly ever drinks or parties
Publicly dates one of the geekiest guys in school — with no social repercussions
Dressed up as Wonder Woman to win a guy’s heart
Believability Factor (out of 10): 6
A Real Senior Says: “Not everyone in high school is gorgeous, skinny, and zit/acne free [like Marissa]. People aren’t perfect!” – Amanda Vaughan

Brooke Davis, One Tree Hill
Lives in her own apartment because her parents are God-knows-where
Had her designs shown in an elite fashion show in New York City
Is captain of the cheerleading squad
Is student body president, even though she never seems to actually do anything
Believability Factor (out of 10): 5
A Real Senior Says: “Brooke’s life is ridiculous. She lives alone and affords it all on her own somehow. Very few seniors could pull that off; her ability to pull things off is a bit unrealistic sometimes.” –Kendall Dionne