“Next Generation of Reality Stars,” by Merritt Moseley

Sep 30th, 2015 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Gus,

Did you see this article in the Telegraph—“The Kardashian sisters are the true heirs to The Brontës”? I don’t know if you have the Kardashian app yet or not but my phone pinged with it first thing.

We’ve been talking with E! about new show ideas forever, but getting nowhere. Isn’t this one a natural? I know the Brontës have all been dead since the 1850s, but, then, there won’t be any talent fees. And I think we can do it with CGI and Ken Burns effect, stop action and Claymation and—I don’t know, you’re the technical wizard. I’m the ideas man and here are a few that spring to mind:

Charlotte Brontë’s butt breaks the Internet! The Internet won’t do of course. What would Charlotte Bronte’s butt break in 1850? Magic lantern slides? The transatlantic cable? The canals? The Oxford Movement?

Anne and Charlotte take Brussels! Here’s where Charlotte cast her seductive eyes on her married teacher, always called M. Heger. I’m not sure what M stands for; can we make him Marky or something?

Charlotte’s BFF–Ellen Nussey! Pals from school days, they broke all the rules, each encouraging the other to go further, dare more. Here’s a picture of Ellen Nussey I found on the Net.

09302015 - Merritt Moseley Image

It’s not much to work with but let’s get the Photoshop boys to work on this.

Anne Brontë on the Yorkshire Shore! She lived at Scarborough, on the North Sea—maybe a little slower than Seaside Heights, but she died there. Of what? Viewers will want to know. Maybe contaminated bronzer.

Charlotte’s hyperactive love life! She was linked to megastar William Makepeace Thackeray as well as Marky Heger, but her first real khrush was on the Duke of Wellington. Did he have eyes for her? We’ll see!

Emily’s interracial passions! Everybody agrees she wasn’t passionate about anything but moors.

Looking for a Branmance! Brother Branwell is perfect for the younger brother slot in our show. He wasn’t younger, but that’s a detail. Brooding, moody, artistic, drunk a lot, he got fired from one job as a tutor for sleeping with the woman of the house. Never really found his role in the family, written out early.

Men were their playthings! All the girls played games with multiple men from an early age. These were toy soldiers belonging to their bro, as it happens, but this was deadly serious practice for their ruthless toying with the male sex later on.

Problems? Well, of course there are problems. Nothing we can’t work around, but these give us something to think about:

–Who’s the Momager? Mrs. Brontë (Maria) died when Charlotte was four, too early to get her into clubs or sex tapes. There’s a housekeeper called Tabby and a surrogate momager called Aunt Branwell, but both will need a lot of tweaking.

–Father Patrick. He really won’t do—retiring clergyman, bad eyesight, never threw a javelin in his life, stock pulled up over his chin, he outlived them all. Let’s recast.

–What did they look like? There’s one disputed photograph of Charlotte, looking like somebody awaiting lip fillers. Of the other two there is one unsatisfactory painting, done by Bro-well, and he was clearly too moody and brooding to do justice to their unearthly beauty. They’re wearing too many clothes, have their mouths closed, you can’t see their butts, one of them has a book. Ugh.

–Too many distractions in their lives, hard to keep to the story line. The three girls were all novelists and poets who helped out around the house and minded their own business. Only one of them ever got married and even she only got married once. This article in the Telegraph says the Brontës were like the Kardashians, “a family of creative women”—but couldn’t they keep it in perspective?

Get back to me right away and let me know what you think. I’m getting chills.


Defenestration-Merritt MoseleyMerritt Moseley is an elderly professor who has written a lot of academic criticism, some “creative nonfiction,” and some humor, dating back to a 1977 publication in The New Yorker. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, named “Beer City, USA” as recently as 2012.

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