factual ent: Black.White. (Rose)

Rose Wurgel

With the credentials of RJ Cutler and Ice Cube behind it this show should have lived up to their claims that it would be provocative and insightful.

I was less than impressed to discover that two of the Wurgel family were in ‘the business’: Bruno Wurgel, described as a teacher on the show, appears on IMDb as Bruno Marcotulli with an acting resume running from 1987 to 2002; Rose Wurgel also as an IMDb entry, as Rose Bloomfield, with a couple of entries; Carmen Wurgel a photographer’s location scout heard about the show ‘from a friend who had a friend who was working on the show’.

Anyone with a brain questions just how ‘real’ is reality TV: these casting choices were for me immensely damaging to its ‘face validity’.

The makeup

I have reservations about the programme but the makeup - Renee Sparks is shown here - was incredibly well done and deserving of its Emmy Award. Keith VanderLaan's now-defunct Captive audience Productions was responsible for special effects makeup; Brian Sipe was makeup effects supervisor & designer; Will Huff was key makeup artist. was responsible for the makeup transformations.

The makeup application for each family member took three to five hours for every day of the six-weeks' filming - though not everybody was in makeup each day. Unlike other in-your-shoes programmes the makeup had to survive not only short one-off face-to-face encounters but repeated interaction with new friends and acquaintances.

Keith VanderLaan, Brian Sipe, and Will Huff shared the Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic).