Let’s Get “Realistic” About Reality TV

I’m a channel surfer by nature. I enjoy flipping through each station, charging past infomercials and newscasts in favor of corny made-for-TV movies and late night talk shows.

But there is one genre of television that I have given up hope on completely, and that’s the delusional world of reality TV.

Now let’s be honest, kids. Life is not like The Jersey Shore. We will not all live in houses furnished with fun little amenities like an indoor hot tub and awesome interior decor. We will not find true love by handing out roses every week like The Bachelor. And I would be willing to bet my debt-ridden soul that your shot at becoming the next American Idol is about one in a million.

And yet here we are, lounging in front of our televisions with a bowl of popcorn, anxiously awaiting to see who Snooki is going to lash out on this episode, or if your favorite performer will be singing their final song for this season’s competition.

We’ve become addicted to idiocy.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t have my moments of weakness. Gene Simmons: Family Jewels comes on, and I am riveted to my television until that lovely little family is replaced by some other equally mind-numbing program. But how can we call this reality when only a small, small portion of the general public live like these celebrities and “real housewives.”

In my humble (and most certainly less-than-credible) opinion, this genre should have never been created. Television execs should have called it “take a break from work tv.” or  “let’s forget we have brain cells programming.” Because that’s really all these shows encourage the general public to understand. It’s either that or teaching viewers how to fist pump and get as inebriated as humanly possible.

If execs were really going for reality tv, they’d follow the 54-year-old unemployed father who is trying to support his family, even though no one will hire him because of his age. Or the grandmother that misses her granddaughter’s fifth birthday party because of another hospital stay. That’s reality; people struggling and yet still living in a failing economy, unstable government and a horrendous job market.

But then again, it has been said that ignorance is bliss.


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