Reality Show. Is there a bigger oxymoron on the planet? Anybody who has watched just one of these cut-and-paste trainwrecks knows they’re designed to make bigger-than-life drama out of tiny, everyday issues. So it should come as no surprise that the WB’s The Boarding House, which shot countless hours of Sunny Garcia, Damien Hobgood, Myles Padaca and five others to bring the North Shore to life, is being less than objective with their final cuts.
The latest victim of this jaundiced journalism is noted Pipe surfer Liam McNamara, who was hit by Sunny Garcia in last week’s episode, when the show’s reigning bad boy turned mad over a format change to the Triple Crown contests. But what they didn’t show tells even more. As reported by Surfing last year, Garcia apparently misunderstood McNamara’s role in the decision and later apologized. Unfortunately, the TV show’s producers didn’t take the same steps, one of many errors surrounding the episode. With the memory still fresh in his mind — and now in the minds of millions of mainstream viewer s — Liam decided it was time to clear the airwaves and give the straight shot on this North Shore nonsense.
SURFINGTHEMAG: Thanks for calling in Liam. What was your reaction when you saw the show?
LIAM MCNAMARA: I thought it was pretty lame because when Sunny hit other people, they got to say their side of the story. Whereas they didn’t give me any chance to give them my take. So it was pretty lame the way they edited it. And the worst part about it is I was sitting in the car with a broken leg and a broken hip when I got assaulted by Sunny. So basically the show make me look like some wimp sitting in the car doing nothing about it.
Well, it’s pretty clear “reality” isn’t the producers’ ultimate goal. Even their reporting on the format change that caused the incident was wrong. They keep saying the controversy was over four-man heats at Sunset, but wasn’t Pipeline the real issue?
Well, I feel that any event on the North Shore should include more Hawaiians. But Pipe was the main issue because it’s a WCT man-on-man situation. But what happened is the Let’s Surf Coalition threatened to sue the ASP if they ran only man-on-man events. So Randy Rarrick and the ASP were forced into a format change. And because they have to do four-man heats, the 64-man format opens the door for 16 Hawaiians. And what happened is Sunny felt like I was responsible for pushing the change through, which I wasn’t. I was involved with a group trying to get more Hawaiians in the event once the format change took place.
So your take was, if it’s going to be 16 more surfers, let’s make sure they’re Hawaiian . . .
. . . instead of international surfers. Exactly. So I basically got assaulted for trying to help the Hawaiian surfers.
But didn’t Sunny apologize later once he found out?
Yeah, he later ended up apologizing. But the show doesn’t show that. And I thought there should’ve been a public apology. I mean, the original producer of the show promised me that they weren’t going to use the footage because it could be detrimental. Because, at first, I was there with Myles sitting in my car and they filmed my face. So they asked me to sign a release, and I said sure. Then Sunny hit me an hour later and they used that same release to run the footage. These reality shows basically film everything and then edit it so it’s going to be totally different. It was another lame Hollywood deal.
Will you participate if they do another one next year?
Well, I wouldn’t want to be on a show like that because I think it misrepresents what the whole North Shore is about. But I’m not going to run around signing any modeling release forms for a while, that’s for sure. — Matt Walker
Liam welcomes any and all feedback. Email him by clicking here.