Reality Bites

This is what our reality show-addled society has spawned: a Congressional hearing devoted to a couple of no-name celebrity wannabes who crashed the President’s party.

It was bound to come to this. Reality programming stopped passing the drool test a long time ago. Survivor, Top Chef, old seasons of Project Runway—they’re all good stuff, great stuff, in fact. But production of such shows with premise—and in the case of Top & Project, talent—fell by the wayside in favor of Brett Michael’s misogynistic skank fest and Sharon Osborne’s trashy televised “tutelage,” not to mention the incessant documentation of freakish fertility stories—predictably followed by a family’s sloppy unraveling.

Reality programming not only resuscitated Flavor Flav’s “career,” it also upchucked a series of shows that successively circled the drain with greater intensity, which, in turn, lowered our national IQ by another 20 points. With reality TV, we got to watch wife swapping, bachelors date, bachelorettes date and nannies discipline unruly children. We were given a voyeur’s view into celebrity “rehab,” hoarders’ messy homes and struggles with weight loss. P. Diddy made a band. Then he made another band. Those were so good, he made two more bands. And now, he’s making his band. I know, it’s totally novel. Completely new. Never been done. Thank you reality TV.

And, lest we forget, there’s the glimmering franchise that is The Housewives. Orange County, Atlanta, New York and even Jersey served up their embarrassing members of the so-called upper class. The shows were such hits that Washington D.C. is going to showcase its own attention-seeking housewife horrors.

Which brings me back to the House hearing slated for tomorrow that will really take a tough look at these reality-TV party crashers. If our elected officials are worth their salt even a bit, they’ll decide that trashy reality television is a threat to our national security—or, at the very least, our national taste—and ban it altogether.

I doubt it, though. If reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that it begets more reality TV. So don’t be surprised if you see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. John Boehner on their own show soon. Diddy, after all, needs a new band.

2 thoughts on “Reality Bites

  1. Cannot agree with you more. I can admit to being a reality TV junkie, and junkie is the perfect word for it. You watch one episode, and before you know it you've got the whole season of The Jersey Shore on DVR, well aware of the side effects to your intelligence.

  2. Sigh…I too am a junkie. I've seen entirely too many of Brett Michaels' headbands, and for some inexplicable reason can never turn off Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It's like this great televised train wreck that I'm incapable of turning away from.

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