Things I don’t ‘get’ – Reality TV

The stubby fingered Cheeto colored, ferret wearin’ shit-gibbon aside, one thing that I just don’t get is Reality TV. My understanding is that the genre, while there are earlier instances, really got a jumpstart during a writer’s strike in Hollywood. The network execs just started producing unscripted “reality” shows, and they took off.

The formula was cemented with Survivor, and now you can hardly watch broadcast TV without having one of these trite shows in your face.

The Survivor franchise. The Biggest Loser. Chopper Wars. Pawn Stars. Shit, they incestuously breed and intermingle. The (cough) Apprentice, likely brought enough national exposure to said shit-gibbon to get him elected to president.

But, to me, they are just crap. Find some desperate people. Put them in real1 scenarios, and film the hilarity.

But, it isn’t hilarious. Or entertaining. Or socially redeeming. It is lazy, it caters to the lowest common denominator.

I do recall a spoof, a short lived series on Comedy Central, called Drawn Together, an “animated” reality show that really ripped on the whole genre. A clip:

I recommend hunting down a copy of season 1 episode 1 to capture what I find wrong with reality TV.

Yet, these programs are hugely popular. Someone I know well watches ALL of them. Every week. And talks about them incessantly.

I just don’t get it. It’s not that I disdain low brow television. I am a huge fan of South Park, Rick and Morty, The Simpsons, Archer and others.


1 – “desperate” is in quotes, because virtually all of the “reality” shows have some staging and deception of how unscripted/unguided they really are. Reality my arse.

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