Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Enough reality already


Where will it all end?

What eccentricity, oddity or just plain ol' weirdness will become the next reality TV show?

It seems there is a never-ending line of people who want the whole world to know of their ìlittle problems.î

The reality craze, which is obviously here to stay, started with Survivor, a show I have yet to actually watch. I have heard lots about it, but after watching about 20 minutes of it several years ago, I decided to vote myself off the island and I have never gone back.

But from that one-hour piece of 'reality' programming (like everyone looks like those bikini-clad, muscle-bound contestants) came thousands of hours of reality TV shows, and every day more are added.

There are shows on little people, very obese people, messy people, people with substance-abuse issues, and there are shows about people who simply do not know when to say enough is enough and have 200 children or so.

I do not watch a lot of TV, and I know of these shows mostly through osmosis. My wife enjoys the shows about obese people, and the latest reality craze, people who hoard.

We also watched a documentary about people in the Appalachian Mountains of Arkansas. Just the word Arkansas is enough to conjure up images of hill billies marrying their cousins, and the documentary was not too far off.

It would seem the mountain folk have a fondness for Mountain Dew ñ a heavily sugared and caffeine-laden drink they even put in baby bottles. The dentist said he has seen two year olds with cavities from drinking Mountain Dew.

My daughter likes the little people shows ñ of which there is a new one every hour ñ and shows about families with lots of kids ñ in which a new one is being born every hour.

There are also more obese people shows than you can shake a box of jelly donuts at.

It is only a matter of time before all of these reality shows come together into one big mix of strangeness.

I can see it now, a show about an obese little person with 15 kids who all drink Mountain Dew while hoarding everything they can get their hands on.

Of course, at least nine members of the family will have some sort of addiction issue, while the others will try to get on American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance.

It is as close to the perfect reality show as you can get. It has something for everyone.

Perhaps our freaky family can be dropped onto an island or something and they get to vote each other off, except in this case it would be a good thing so they can go home to their Mountain Dew, inbred dogs and cluttered homes.

Perhaps throw a couple of has been movie stars in there, can you say Lindsay Lohan, just to make things a little more lively.

It's kind of a stupid idea inside a stupid idea. In case you haven't guessed, I am not a huge fan of reality TV.

A lot of it should be called ìMy life is worse than yours and I am going on TV to prove it.î
But therein lies the lure of reality TV. Had a bad day at work, house is a little messy, just can't seem to shed those last few pounds, well turn on the tube and keep searching because you are pretty much guaranteed to find someone in a much worse situation than you are in.

After a while you may start to feel better about your own life. Perhaps reality TV does have a higher purpose on this rock in space ñ to make us feel better about our lives by showing us how crappy other people's lives are.

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