Saturday, February 5, 2011

Reality Shows, Really?

Today while walking the upper deck track at my gym, I was listening to my ipod and Bowling for Soup's song 1985 came on. (Big fan of Bowling for Soup). Part of the lyrics of that song ....When did reality become TV, whatever happened to shows...)

Of course, this got me thinking. (Did you have any doubts?) With time and monotony on my side, I started  thinking about the
good and bad aspects of reality television.

For any of you that are old enough to remember, there was a time that there were just 3 channels. (for those that are not aware of that, let me repeat....JUST THREE)  In 1957 for example there was only CBS, ABC, and NBC. Not that I was a big connoisseur of TV then as I would have not even started grade school, but there were already some reality based shows. Candid Camera was one.  Big hit in it's day.

Another that might not be familiar but had some of the slime factor that (some) of the modern programs have, would be Queen for the Day. Does anyone remember this?? Some poor bedraggled women would tell a very heart wrenching account of how her life had gone wrong. The woman that told the most pathetic story would win a prize. For example, a woman that just lost everything in a house fire would win a new washing machine. Hardly seems worth making a public spectacle of oneself.  Women must of really been desperate for major appliances in the late fifties. Queen for a Day was definitely  a kissing cousin of today's reality shows.

Now we have 100's of channels. No longer the measly three!!! So much more  to pick from. Whatever voyeuristic tendencies you might have, there is something out there for you. Celebrity Rehab, Millionaire Matchmaker, Hoarders, Heavy and it's alter ego The Biggest Loser, Ace of Cakes, House Hunters, Pawn Star, American Pickers, Cash for Cari, America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, the Bachelor, Survivor, American Idol.....on into infinity with all the possibilities.

Now let's talk about Jersey Shore (gag,choke....sorry I can't help myself) What is up with that one??? The few bits and pieces I've seen left me stunned but now these people are celebrities. Their mugs are all over the place including the morning news programs, daytime talk shows, magazines, you name it.

Snooki is featured in an  article in this week's People magazine.  Part of the article tell us after guzzling Long Island iced teas like water  Snooki was going to attack her cast mate like a squirrel monkey. What does that even mean??? The article goes on to say that on Jan. 17th she was arrested for disorderly conduct. The charges were later dropped which is a good thing according to Snooki because she can't remember the night's eventsThe article goes on to say that her father had some thoughts of pulling her off the show because of the arrest.  His reasoning being that he didn't want people thinking badly of his daughter.  WHAT!!!! Drinking non-stop to the point you can't remember things, sleeping with your cast mates and beating the crap out of your gal pals is an acceptable  image, I suppose.

Still she gets paid 30K per episode as well as 30K for club appearances. Is there no justice??  Pullleeese. 

(SIDE NOTE---Remember my imaginary Bus Headed for a Cliff game. Snooki is now on board. She is seated next to the john AND the bus air conditioner is not working AND it is August.  Oh, and let's set The Situation right next to her on the bus. I might even plan a charter bus in my mind and put the whole cast and crew on that one.)

As you all know by now, nothing is all one way with me.  There is always another angle to look at it from. Seriously conflicted.

 In all fairness some of the reality shows are pretty interesting.   (Remember my trusty DVR and I power through lots of programming). Some of these programs are just riveting. You want to turn away but you just CAN'T.  How can you not be entertained/repulsed at shows like Hoarders or Clean House?  By the time you finish one of those episodes, you will WANT to clean you house from top to bottom.  Can we say EEEWWWW?

The good for the day....

We can sit in our homes and view into the lives (strange or not-so-strange) people on any number of television stations.
No matter what our interests are we can find programming to keep us glued to our seat.

The bad for the day....

The same as the good for the day...This is very much a two sided coin.
 Also, on the bad side let's add the act of making celebrities out of people exhibiting very bad behavior and paying them buckets of money for their antics.

The Freakin' Weird...

If you have watched some of these programs you already have seen the freakin' weird.

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