Melissa Jo Peltier

Author of fiction and nonfiction; film and television producer/writer/director

Want to read more about Reality TV's Dark Side?


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Blogging about TV, Film, Media, Literature & Justice For All....

Should We Publicly Criticize Other Artists? More thoughts....

April 1, 2015

Tags: Storytelling, Criticism, critics, Writing, movies, film

How does one blog about another artist's work without unintentionally causing hurt and damage?

I'd never thought about the question until a personal experience. When my husband John Gray and I released our indie feature WHITE IRISH DRINKERS in 2010, we received rave reviews from places like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and other major publications. We were an international “festival darling,” delighting and moving audiences all around the world. (more…)

Time to Start Blogging Again (And Thoughts on Storytelling in General)

March 7, 2015

Tags: Storytelling, Criticism, Writing, Writer's block, movies, film

draft
Tags: Storytelling, Criticism, Writing, Writer's block, movies, film
Thank you, dear stranger, for visiting this obscure website! My analytics have been going through the roof lately but I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because followers are responding positively to the Tweets & news items I share daily, about my personal passions: (more…)

MEGALODON SHARKS AND MERMAIDS: How the Reality TV Paradigm Teaches Our Kids To Lie

August 6, 2013

Tags: reality tv, DISCOVERY, megalodon, mermaids, kids, documentaries

Imagine this scenario – two ten year olds – a boy and a girl - are poised in anticipation on the edge of the family sofa, waiting for the first show of Shark Week to begin. This year’s first show does not disappoint. It’s a two-hour tour de force of ominous music, leading passive-tense graphics over black screen:

“They are thought to be extinct.
But there is evidence of Megalodon’s existence today.”

(more…)

Is Reality TV Warping Your Kids?

April 18, 2013

Tags: Reality TV, television, Hollywood, parenting, bad behavior, Real Housewives, Kardashian, Honey Boo Boo, Omarosa, Girl Scouts

(Cross-posted from TheCelebrityCafe.com)

Like millions out there, you love your Reality TV. You can’t get enough of your botoxed & siliconed Real Housewives of wherever; of your orange-toned alcoholic New Jerseyans; your lipsticked Honey BooBoo and her dysfunctionally clueless mother. What’s the harm in that? We all deserve our guilty pleasures. Personally,my trashy TV habits fall into the LMN movie category. Being a writer myself, I tend to like my over-the-top, clichéd dialogue to be performed by real actors and scripted by professional writers who get credit and pay for their services. But I digress.
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A Teen's Viewpoint: REALITY BOULEVARD by Lauren Marie Galley (18)

April 9, 2013

Tags: teens, reality tv, media, media pressures, girls, self-image, Girls Above Society

My organization “Girls Above Society”, helps teen girls face the tough pressures of today’s media-driven society. I immediately bought REALITY BOULEVARD and knew this was a must read. I really wanted to hear more about the inside workings of our crazy media driven society. As an actress and model, I’ve been on many film sets, but I’ve never experienced the reality TV world.
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Reposted from Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog "Author Spotlight"

March 29, 2013

Tags: Morgen Bailey, author spotlight, reality tv, Reality Boulevard, novel, Girl Scouts, exploitation, self-image, Hollywood

I’ve always been a fictional storyteller in my soul, even though I spent many years in the non-fiction world. While the object of non-fiction is to communicate the truth, I believe drama and fiction can create a deeper, broader more universal truth than can cold hard facts. Reality Boulevard is my first publishednovel (I wrote a novel in college but it’s what you might expect from a collegiate first novelist) and I’m very excited about the reactions I’ve been getting, both from new readers who know nothing at all about the behind-the-scenes Hollywood I depict in the novel and find it fascinating to learn about, to colleagues in “the business” who’ve lived first hand some of the things my characters experience.
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Making A Real Person Into A Fictional Character

February 20, 2013

Tags: fiction, character, Arnold Shapiro, television, reality television, novel, reality boulevard

A Case Study With A Happy Ending

A few months before my first novel Reality Boulevard was due to be released on eBook, I held my breath and phoned my friend and television mentor, the legendary (Oscar and 16-time Emmy winner) Arnold Shapiro.

“Arnold,” I said, picking nervously at my fingernails. “I’ve written a novel. And one of the characters is inspired by you."

“Uh oh,” was his response.

(more…)

The Meeting Was Real. It Absolutely Was Real.

February 14, 2013

Tags: Reality TV, pitch meeting, television, Hollywood, novel, inspiration, satire

The following conversation, which takes place in my novel REALITY BOULEVARD between two 20-something cable network executives and the book's main character, veteran award-wining producer Marty Maltzman, reads like satire:
"Ken steepled his fingers and gazed thoughtfully up at the ceiling. 'Dwarves have done very well for us in primetime ... of course you can never go wrong with pimps, sluts, hoes and bitches.' He winked at Kevin. 'We don't mean that in any kind of racist or sexist context, of course...Anyway, our best night of the week is our Sunday primetime lineup. We call it - for lack of a better term - our 'freaks and losers' block.' "

The irony is, these statements are word-for-word recountings of meetings I've found myself in as a longtime producer of non-fiction television. I mean it. Those meetings really happened. (more…)

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January 11, 2013