I Can't Stand Reality Shows!


The other night I had nothing to do so I thought I'd watch some t.v.  I have digital cable with all these channels but mostly watch movies here and there.  The new season was starting so I figured I'd see if any of the new shows would be worth keeping up with this year.  The first three channels I switched on featured singing competitions.  The prizes ranged from a $500,000.00 record deal up to 5 million dollars for a record deal.  When these type of t.v. series started several years ago I used to watch them.  I even used to call in my votes.  But I gave up when I realized what a set up these shows were.  They didn't really want the best "voice"; they wanted the good looking guy with all the teen and tween votes to win the competition.  I can't stand reality shows because the competition ones are obviously fixed!  There is no way a guy who can't sing two notes on key while pretending to strum his guitar can churn out a single, much less an album, that will sell more than ten copies to his loved ones.  Yet year after year, season after season, this type of singer is declared the winner, the "idol".  The audience goes wild, the network is thrilled because their ratings went through the roof and they get back every penny spent on that recording contract plus some through the advertisers who pay mega bucks to be seen with the latest tween sensation on t.v.

Another reason I can't stand reality shows is because there's nothing "real" about them!  Tell me what is real about setting up a dozen people on a lovely Caribbean island, where they can dance around all day in bikinis and cutoffs and tee shirts, playing hide and seek with each other, then go on a treasure hunt?  And the winner gets a million bucks!  What's so "real" about that?  What is real about a person riding a unicycle across a stage, through the audience, and back to the stage while juggling ten flaming sticks?  Perhaps someone's singed hair, or the unicycle wheel tracks imprinted on a few audience member's shoes are real. With most of the "singing" reality shows, the only thing "real" are the people you see in the audition tapes, which are shown for fun.   That's where you see the real people who sing off key, or flat, or propositioning the judges to get on the show.  Take a look when the camera pans the audience during one of those singing reality shows.  When the guy who is supposed to win sings, girls surround the stage like fleas ready to attack a dog.  At the "right" time, they applaud and hold up signs supporting their guy.  As he walks round the edge of the stage, clasping each girl's outstretched hand, the whole thing looks so smooth and polished you'd swear it was rehearsed!

Who votes for the winners of these reality shows?  I can't stand reality shows because it's a known fact the voting is skewed!  When the announcer, dramatic pauses included, announces they received "176,000,000 votes" - what he means is one hundred girls called in 17,600,000 votes apiece.  Or texted.  Or did both.  The weekly "loser" is usually the girl who can out sing Mariah Carey and Beverly Sills combined, who is also beautiful and looks like a model, but more importantly, as stated, can actually sing.  On key.  We're left with the next three weeks losers, all girls who can sing, and three guys, one of whom can sing; the other two, can't.  But they can look good and single and appear to sing straight to each girl's heart.  That's our winner!  Talent?  Doesn't count!  All that counts is being a former paint sales clerk or having a brother who is brain dead.  Or a former paint sales clerk brother who is brain dead.

Reality shows that don't count on voting for viewership are just as bad.  I can't stand reality shows that focus on the lives of "real" people.  They might be "real" people, but their lives and names are as fake as my faux pearl necklace!  What's so real about a bunch of young people from Iowa who move to New Jersey and change their last names to "Pasquali" and "Chefboyrdee"?  And pretend to cook a big pot of spaghetti each night?  Are we supposed to believe that Brian O'Brien from Boston, Mass., has suddenly genetically mutated into Tony Arrivederci?  Living in a big house with ten other roommates, all pseudo Italian, and a former playboy bunny called "Cookie"?  Or what about those "real housewives" shows?   My mother was a real housewife.  She cleaned, cooked, mopped, packed six lunches each day, and put up with my father until he died.  Luckily he had a huge insurance policy.  Mom lost weight, enrolled in exercise classes, met a rich widower, and moved to Hawaii.  She surfs daily.  The waves, not the internet.  I understand she's been approached by one of those famous t.v. producers.  He's thinking of a new reality series -  Filthy Rich Housewives of Hawaii.  Now that's reality t.v.!  Go, Mom!  I'll tune in each week to watch!  You got my vote