“I’m Not Here To Make Friends!!!” A Reality Rant



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One of the first things I did upon arriving home on account of spring break was contort my body to the shape of my couch in order to enjoy a luxury I thought I had missed, which is cable television y’all. Back in Melody and I’s Ttown apartment, our set only gets seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. Funny how that works…

Anyway, I was super pumped to head down Direct TV’s rabbit hole. Things started out fairly normal. I found myself flipping back and forth between “Unique Eats” and  a special on the Manson trials (which led to nightmares later..awkward)  After these programs ended, channel surfing turned into a sore thumb and bitter disappointment.

Three seconds of “Kortney and Kim Take Miami” and I literally felt a throbbing pain deep in my spleen. Just seeing that “Jerseylicious” is an actual show made me want to lose the Jim and Nicks sandwich I had eaten an hour before.

SIDENOTE-“Duck Dynasty” is admittely a guilty pleasure of mine, specifically  for the homegrown Lousiana wisdom (“If you don’t know what you’re doing…do it quick”) and the sexy mountain beard styles. If you want reality, these guys are it. Gator hunting, swamp walking, crawfishing, making wine from store-bought grapes reality. I have not a bad word for scruffy cuties.


Meet Phil, Si, Jase and Willie

However, besides the obvious exception for burly men famous for duck calls, WHAT has happened to our entertainment standards? People are paying lofty cable bills each month only to have the option of watching Kim K furiously trying to examine life beyond the edge of her eyelashes or marathons of  what life is REALLY like for Joe Jonas.  As a once lover of reality telelvision, I miss the old days when we just put people on islands or asked them to date on camera and make us believe it was for the long haul.

Now these premises have been overdone, trampled on and creepily modified. 2013 reality ventures hold ridiculous premises such as C-List celebrities hurling themselves into diving pools or the dense conversation at a dinner party where Beverly Hills housewives gobble white wine and try not to slosh bisque on their bejeweled wrists.The first couple seasons of “The Bachelor” had the faint promise of romance but now the show is just frazzled snapshots of pretty girls sobbing their mascared lashes off and screaming “I’M NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS.

We talk a lot in my ethics journalism class about candy and broccoli (in terms of news consumption). People need the broccoli but want the candy. Journalists find themselves in that tricky balancing act of being informative while also geting readers and getting a paycheck. Do you fortify or gratify? Is there a healthy mix?

It appears the same goes with today’s television world. People are fascinated by attractive people doing stupid, insane, but most of the time just creepily normal things. I know this because I once accidentally watched the Kardashian girls eat salad for 30 min. We don’t need it but apparently we absolutely want it. And Direct TV is dishing it out to us as they laugh Jafar style. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpXF7naIE0M)

This whole thing reminds me of the time my Dad asked me “What is a Lady Gaga?” As part of a generation being defined by synthetic beats and even more synthetic people, sometimes I think it would be refreshing to not know the answer.



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