Thursday, July 29, 2010

Train Wreck Reality Shows and the Tyrone Who Loves Them

I was asked by someone recently (Jessica to be specific; there's your dedication) why I liked that new Ochocinco reality show.  She couldn't quite understand why it would be appealing.  I mulled over my answer for 20 minutes before tuning into NBC to see who got voted off America's Got Talent.  I still think CJ Dippa was robbed, but that's my opinion.  I guess the answer to that is simple: I like train wrecks.  I like things that seemed like a good idea on paper, but totally fail when executed, like a Lindsay Lohan jail sentence. 

I guess that's why the Jersey Shore season premiere has me amped.  The thought of 8 people with heavy northern accents and horrible tans living together just gets me excited.  I guess it all started for me when I saw COPS for the first time.  No, not the wretched cartoon about the cyborg police officers.  I'm talking about the COPS that's been on FOX since I was in 4th grade.  To see a bunch of normal (relatively speaking) everyday people getting arrested by officers just made me laugh.  I think the horrible lies they tried to pull off as to why the police were called made it even funnier. 

The Real World (again, relatively speaking) was supposed to be a social experiment to see what happens when 7 random people move into a New York apartment and live together and learn about each other.  In theory it was a great idea, however the main result is two of the cast mates hooked up and, the rest got drunk and yelled at each other for an hour.  Granted, sometimes they addressed important issues, but nine times out of ten, silliness ensued. 

Now the influx of reality television has really caused a commotion.  With people living on islands, people trying to win the love of some B-List celebrity, or the combination of the two; we're really seeing a genre take over the airwaves.  I remember when I was in college at Liberty, kids would leave chapel service early to watch Temptation Island.  I always wondered where everyone went after chapel until one night when it was cancelled, I go to the lounge and there they are.  I'm constantly seeing people post on facebook about how they couldn't believe the bachelor kept one person over another.  I'm guilty of it, too. 

Why are we so enamored with reality television?  Especially considering how not real they are, we shouldn't really be into it.  Well, I won't say that we shouldn't, but at the very least, keep an open mind to the fact that it may be more fabricated than we or producers are willing to admit.  Jennifer Hudson being knocked out of American Idol being my lead example for fakeness of reality.  Survivor is filmed just a few miles away from civilization.  They're not in the wilderness, they're at the park.  Like I said, I think the train wreck style of reality shows just lends itself to be viewed by so many different people.  If you like to see random famous people pretend to be in love, VH1 has about 12 shows for you.  If you like silly folks who you swear you'd never be friends with, MTV usually owns that one.  And if you want to determine the status of random people's length of their 15 minutes of fame, that's all on network television.  Now if you excuse me, I'm going to do some fist pumping and later this week, watch random cooks get chewed out by a British man for burning the risotto.

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