A&E is showing a reality TV series about one of the Austin roller derby teams, the Texas Rollergirls. Reviews from the New York based media seem to have missed something.
This new generation of roller derby queens skates that thin line between blue collar and white trash, balancing nights of tequila shots with days of their real-life careers as nurses, teachers and rubber-lingerie designers.
Despite their penchant for fishnet uniforms and rump-shaking celebrations, they bristle (in episode two) at the suggestion that roller girls are easy. Still, they smoke and drink and curse like sailors and extend their middle fingers liberally. When Miss Conduct is missing in action at a practice, a teammate offers this explanation: “Miss Conduct is drunk.”
The New York Times isn’t quite so diplomatic:
For a while, it seemed as if Roller Derby was a lost art, like illuminated manuscripts or clog dancing. Actually, it’s more like polio: many people assume it was eradicated in the 1970’s, but it’s still around and, in some areas, quite virulent.
Reality contests take ordinary, identifiable women and pose them in an absurd, artificial fantasy fishbowl. “Rollergirls” is a documentary that takes women who pursue an absurd, artificial fantasy sport and tries to pose them as ordinary, identifiable women.
These players are all based in Austin, Tex., which is supposed to be Texas’s classy town. One can only imagine Rollergirls’ Night Out in Fort Worth.