Reality TV: The 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse

I think some reality shows give viewers a chance to see things they wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to experience. But others? Not so much.
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I have a love-hate relationship with reality television.

On one hand, I think some reality shows give viewers a chance to see things they wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to experience. I can’t tear myself away from a Deadliest Catch marathon. I grin and get teary watching The Biggest Loser. I have a special place in my heart for JLo after this season of American Idol.

On the other hand, I think that most reality shows are simply celebrating the most degenerate behavior that our society has to offer. I’m looking at YOU Bret Michaels and your parade of skanktron misfits.

At some point we have to ask what is the point of highlighting The Crazy with stuff like Toddlers and Tiaras*, shows with the word “Jersey” in the title and pretty much anything that airs on Bravo.

Ramona of The Real Housewives of New York. Homegirl needs to lay off the vino.

Ramona of The Real Housewives of New York. Homegirl needs to lay off the vino.

Oh, I know that most of the people watching The Real Housewives of Fill-in-the-Blank are doing so for the “oh no she DIDN’T moments” or to marvel at just how awry plastic surgery can go. But people on reality television are getting PAID to behave like the worst member of your family. Pause for a moment and think of the token lunatic in your gene pool. Can you imagine rewarding that person with fistfuls of cash for continuing to flip over tables, busting out their girl drama, and be generally mean and nasty on a regular basis? Maybe we should pick our reality television based on the simple criteria of, if my child was ON this show, would I be proud?

And just when I think that my horse can’t get any higher, I get distracted by the collection of attractive Vampires that live in my DVR.

*Yes, I know that link is to the parody. I can’t bring myself to link to the real Toddlers and Tiaras. Ick.

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