The description of BSGE senior Manny’ Moreno’s MTV episode goes: “anime aficionado Manny Moreno lives in a city full of women but has never managed to get a date. Sick and tired of the friend zone, Manny’s ready to ditch his nerdy image and get his first kiss by being MADE into a ladies man.” Although many say the most important thing in life is to be true to yourself, ‘Made,’ the MTV television show, could not disagree more. The premise of the show is for an individual to be ‘made’ into something else, usually the polar opposite of his or herself. The following is our interview with the “new and improved” Manny:
What made you sign up for Made?
“I actually had never heard of it at the time, I was just approached.”
“A comic book convention,” he confessed, laughing.
Did you think it would actually happen?
“No, I really didn’t. The show had never even been in New York City.”
What was your reaction upon hearing the new?
“I was surprised, I immediately called my friends and was like, ‘I’m going to be on TV!’”
What were your friends’ reactions? Your family’s?
“My friends mostly were just like, ‘Oh my god, that’s so great!’ They thought I would be made into a body builder, so they thought it was hilarious. But they got less excited about it while it was filming because I had to ditch some of them.”
How much of it was real?
“Well, the camera guy would sometimes stop us so that he could film a scene from another angle. But everything, at least on my part, is real. I didn’t know anything ahead of time.”
What was the most embarrassing part of it for you?
“When I found out about my first assignment while I was in the comic store, I laughed so hard that snot came out of my mouth and I had to quickly breath it back in. Oh, and when I was in Times Square for an assignment, some of the women I met were Playboy models, I turned so red.
How about the kiss, what was it like having it on TV? Was it your first?
“Well it was a little strange because we had to do it several times for the camera guy, but I didn’t really mind. But yeah, it was, it felt nice, it gave me a tingly feeling.
Have you received any recognition?
“Yeah, a lot of people from the school have come up to me, and I’ve gotten crazy amounts of friend requests on facebook, like, I haven’t even gotten through all of them yet. “
(And just a few days ago, a seventh grader approached him, frantically asking if he had been on Made and seeming even more astonished that the answer was ‘yes.’)
Have you stayed in contact with anyone from the show?
“I went on a few more dates with the final girl I had picked on the show, but then we stopped talking. There were some issues.”
What were your thoughts with seeing yourself on TV?
“I couldn’t watch, like I didn’t even want to see myself. My dad just laughed the whole time. “
Overall, are you happy with the experience? Any regrets?
“Yes, I’m happy with everything that happened. But I guess I do regret crying on TV. They warned me before too, like’ if you cry, we’re not going to cut it out,’ so I told myself not to.”
Do you think it has changed you? Have any of these changes lasted?
“Um, I guess I would say it has.”
“His hugs are less awkward now,” Christina Rukki, 12th grade, adds.
And it does seem to have worked. On a MTV.com comment board “szgg07” writes, “you are really handsome or cute.” Another fan writes, “Manny I saw your made show and what I can tell you is that if you keep treating the women that you’re friends with a lot of love and respect, eventually they,ll think of you more than just a friend.”