Have you ever wished that reality television was real?
I don’t mean to pop your bubble here, but what passes for reality television has about as much basis in real life as a six legged cat from the pages of a Dr. Seuss story. The Real Housewives of Fargo, or wherever the hell that show is filming, has that train wreck factor, you know that urge to look away because who “really” acts like that? No one, or they would be institutionalized.
Then in the next circle of hell, you have the likes of the Kardashians, and Honey Boo Boo. I see them as one in the same, somehow famous for contributing nothing to society, other than brain cell loss from watching hours of what must be subversive mind control programming, because why else would it exist? It makes me think of Clockwork Orange.
As we descend deeper into the silo of desperation, we find the Bachelor, Bachelorette, Naked Dating, and their ilk, because nothing says forever like being a drunken skank, or huge douchebag on national television.
At the bottom of the deepest crevice in the reality show are the originals, Survivor, Big Brother and the Not-So Amazing Race. I will admit that for a season or two, I watched Survivior. It was new, different and unpredictable. That soon faded and the freshness was replaced by sniping, whining, and the oh my God I miss home crying binges. (You’ve been gone a week and a half from your double wide buttercup). Eventually, you get voted off the island, evicted, or your magical journey ends.
But even then it’s not over. Everyone gets together for a finale and makes happy. Then these people are somehow considered celebrities for reasons unknown to mankind and reappear in that endless celebrity purgatory that is Dancing With The Stars.
I would like to toss some of these nattering nebobs of negativity into a “Reality” show like Dodging ISIS Beheadings in Syria, or Shuttling Ebola Medications Barefoot in Liberia, or Walking Through Stockton, California Alone At Night.
Or at the very least, I’d like to say, “Get off my damn island!”
The Real World was the original reality show, years before Survivor and Big Brother. 🙂 In the US, anyway, and using the current format. Why does everyone forget The Real World?
You are absolutely right, Amanda! I forgot all about the Real World. I remember that now, especially that first season where they traveled around in that van. Oh yeah, and the guy with the big hair.
LOL See? Everyone forgets.
(Here by way of Rachel Thompson…)
I’m not everyone. My wife and I watched MTV’s the Real World quite religiously when we were first married. Yes, it was so new to U.S. airwaves, and it was like a train wreck… we just couldn’t look away.
My take on reality television has little to do with reality or realism. I’m not sure why it’s called that, because– it’s old television formats turned inside out.
You have the average Joes and Janes pretending to be celebrities, and they do all the formats that actors would typically do– the drama (The Real World, Big Brother), the action flick (The Amazing Race, Survivor, Fear Factor), and so on. We’re all meant to laugh at the juxtaposition: “Ho, ho, look at those Average Joes and Janes pretending to be celebrities!”
Then you have celebrities pretending to be average Joes and Janes (The Osbournes, The Anna Nicole Smith show, The Simple Life, etc.) Usually the production crew films them in a more documentary style. Once again, we’re all meant to laugh at the juxtaposition: “Ho, ho, look at those celebrities, pretending to be average people!” C’mon, doesn’t it fit? Viewers gawked at Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie stumbling at having to deal with working class day-to-day stuff. If it wasn’t enough, they served up Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham the same way.
I think it grates on our nerves that the entertainment media picked up on our cynicism, but in regular fashion, it served it back to us to pimp out Madison Avenue once again.
You’re spot on about the train wreck factor. You know it’s gonna happen. You don’t know precisely when, but it’s screaming down the tracks. It this vein or reality television doesn’t confirm the doing down of society, I don’t know what will. Thanks all.
James – you should check out Dance Moms. I believe it will change your entire perspective.
Oh, Greg, I’d blocked that little slice of television heaven from my brain.
My reality is crazy enough without adding more crazies! I do have some folks I would like to put on that island, though.
I think that island might get overpopulated very fast.