Too Much Reality...

Sunday, January 28, 2007
I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy so-called “reality television”. Well, some of it anyways. Or at least I did. A few years ago, when it was still in its infancy, there was something special about watching ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. As the “Survivor” phenomenon caught on, it seemed there was a new reality show each week. We were subjected to such atrocities as Temptation Island and Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire. I never thought I’d admit it but I’m slightly sick of reality television. And yes, that applies even to my beloved Surivivor.

With the next installment scheduled to begin in a couple of weeks (here in NA anyways), I find that I could care less. Up until this past season (Cook Islands - #13), I had missed a grand total of perhaps 3 or 4 episodes since I started watching ½ way through the original season. Despite my initial excitement over Cook Islands, I skipped the last three episodes with no regrets. I’ve reached my saturation point. Too much reality for this gal. I won’t be watching the upcoming season.

It seems that every other program on the television these days is some sort of reality show. From Big Brother and Dancing (or Skating) with the Stars, to Joes vs. Pros, Who wants to Marry a Millionaire, or some form of Idol. Even former “all-music” stations such as Much Music or MTV don’t seem to play music anymore, it’s all reality tv programming. It’s not surprising. Trying to squeeze a video or two in between episodes of The Flavor of Love, The Carters, Surreal Life, Jack Osbourne’s No Fear, or Kelly Osbourne’s Turning Japanese is impossible. This brings up another thought…could videos be going the way of radio? I wonder if someone will write a song to commemorate the changing of the times just like the Buggles did with Video Killed the Radio Star? Wonder what it would be called? iTunes Killed the Video Star?

Back to reality. It’s no wonder that these programs are so popular. Everyone wants to be famous, it seems. There’s no shortage of people applying to be on all of these shows, as well as the plethora of game shows out there. Get famous and get rich quick. That explains the regular joes (and janes) out there who will do just about anything (think Fear Factor) to get their fifteen minutes of fame. But what about the “celebrities” (usually b- or c-list ones, whatever that means) who go on shoes like Surreal Life, or the more recent Armed & Famous? I can only gather that they feel it will boost their not-so-hot careers. This doesn’t seem to work. For some, it just re-enforces the stereotypes we already have about them and makes them look sad and, at times, slightly pathetic. Remember Corey Feldman and Brigitte Nielsen from Surreal’s first season? Sure, Flavor Flav went on to have his own show but it certainly didn’t make him look very good. At all.

This brings us to those celebrities who get their own television show. Probably the biggest, and most successful was The Osbournes. While I never watched it (nope, not a single episode), I’m sure it had its attractions. It must have considering how popular it was. Ozzy’s a big star, so I can see the attraction of wanting to see him as a “real person” and not just a celebrity. But what about his kids? What did they do to warrant their own shows? Ok, sure Kelly tried her hand at singing. I’ll admit, I didn’t mind her version of Papa don’t Preach although the video left a bit to be desired. I also like the fact that she’s not shy or embarrassed about the fact that she’s not an anorexic twig while everyone else in the business is. Good on her. However, does that make her or brother Jack celebrities? I don’t think so.

I’ve recently read that Posh and Becks are now in negotiations to have their own “Osbourne-esque” show once they make the move to LA. Great, just what the world doesn’t need. I might just have to give up television all together.


Wandering Coyote said...

I don't watch too much reality TV, though someone in my household loves American Idol so I've been watching a bit of that. I gave up on Survivor a while ago. Thing about reality shows is that they're cheap to produce, so we're going to be seeing lots of them in the future, and I'm sure they're only going to keep getting more and more ridiculous.

I wouldn't watch a Posh & Becks reality show. Ugh.

Red said...

Nooooooooo, say it ain't sooooo! Where will I get my Survivor spoilers from? You can't just leave the Survivor club like that, Karen! There must be penalty fees and stuff, surely? And isn't an all-star version of The Amazing Race about to hit your screens, you lucky, lucky thing? If we had that sort of TV here, I'd never do an honest day's work, I tell you!

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