No Reality in TV

Because of a current financial situation, I have found myself a little less than inspired to write.  Since the whole idea behind starting this blog was to use it as a sounding board or some form of stress release, I figured I would have a lot to say right now.  But I don’t.

In this particular case, I think that is best, and I find myself thinking that maybe there are more people who should learn to keep their mouths shut.  Almost every member of any Housewives comes to mind, whether it is Atlanta, Orange County, or New Jersey.  Note to the blond gal, no amount of money spent by Big Papa will make you able to sing.  I am increasingly amazed by the reality based shows filled with whining rich people.  What is the draw?  Why do people watch them?  Don’t take this as an attack on reality shows; I am actually quite fond of the contest based shows.  My girlfriend and I make a small wager each year over Top Chef.  Personally, I think I have her this year.  And although there is a bit of drama with the show, the enjoyment comes from watching these people try and create elaborate meals in various tough situations.  A few weeks ago they had to cook in the desert over an open flame in the same style as the cowboys on the range.  Some wowed the judges, and others failed.  But it is the challenges and eventual winner getting a chance to make their personal goals come true that make the show so much fun to watch.  That and the food.  Have I ever mentioned before that I like to eat?

This is why I can’t understand the draw of watching rich people complaining about their miserable lives.  These are not people who are grounded in reality, even though we call it Reality TV.  I suppose we have to thank MTV for much of the hype, since we can trace all this whining and sniveling back to the original Real World and its cast of know nothing ,do nothing, early twenty-something complainers.  But at least in the early days of that show, the producers tried to touch on some relevant social themes, including an entire season featuring a cast member battling with AIDS.  But these new shows seem to draw more from Jerry Springer than MTV. 

Do I really care if that guy can flip that house?  And can anyone really explain to me what project Rachel Zoe is working on?  Really, if your life is really that stressed out over trying to find the right accessories, then I welcome you to call my bank and sit on hold for forty minutes, get bounced around form person to person only to be stuck in some hold queue until a pre-recorded voice finally appears out of nowhere to tell you, “I’m sorry.  We cannot continue to process your call.  Please hang up.”

As I read just recently in another blog, these people need to get real jobs.  They need to see what it is like for real people to scrape by and make ends meet.  They need to work the customer service desk at Wal-Mart or the drive-up window at Arby’s to understand first hand what there really is to complain about.   Watching grown women shaking their fingers in the air, bitching about not being shown the proper respect sounds and looks ridiculous.  As parents, we have all said at one time or another to one of our children, “If only you could see yourself.”  Well these people are on TV.  It’s all on film.  Can they not see it for themselves?

So now it’s time to go back to my real life.  No big birthday parties to plan.  No charity fashion show to stress out about.  No camera crew hanging around to film it all.  Just me and Maureen and the kids.  And a never ending load of laundry.

Now that’s reality.

4 responses to “No Reality in TV

  1. Tom, I am very much enjoying your blogging. Keep to it.

  2. This from a guy who has been known to watch WWE RAW and UFC. We all have our guilty pleasures. During the real Great Depression, which is nothing like what we’re experiencing now, Musicals were very popular, and movie ticket sales rose because people in need wanted an escape. Now clearly I have no desire to become some low-class wig-wearing broad who thinks money lends her an air of respectability, but I do like to pretend that money isn’t an issue, and since I can’t actually go to Paris right now, following Rachel Zoe there will just have to do.

  3. UFC you bet. WWE and RAW are all Alex.

  4. You forgot “no catfight where a hairpiece is yanked from a bimbo.” Seriously, I have to say that I love these shows. I put my kids to bed, pour a glass of wine, and totally zone out. I’m not proud of it–just offering up an explanation. I find that there’s no better way to unwind after a chaotic day than to lose myself in the mindlessness of “Girls Next Door.”

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