I thought that reality television had come to a head a couple of years ago. Surely, there couldn’t be any more room left for reality shows, I thought; now there are more than ever.
There are the reality game shows such as Survivor, The Amazing Race, and The Apprentice. There are musical shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. There are all the dating shows like The Bachelor. I don’t know what category to put The Biggest Loser in. There are all those real estate and flipping shows such as House Hunters and Buy Me. There are the family shows like Jon and Kate Plus 8, Little People, Small World, and 17 and Counting. There are the shows about the — pardon my language — freaks of nature among us like The Man with Trees for Arms. There are all the real-life crime shows such as The First 48 and Dog the Bounty Hunter. And lastly, there are the celebrity reality shows such as The Two Coreys.
Everyone seems to be watching reality shows these days and I’m no exception. I usually watch the true-life crime shows and the real estate shows. And I am very annoyed with the Biography Channel. I pay extra for this channel and I expected to keep seeing biographies. Now they have become a cheap TLC knockoff with their reality shows.
People who I think are normally very intelligent and cultured will discuss what happened last night on The Bachelor like they used to discuss the latest political or world news. They will have hour-long debates about whether or not Kate Gosselin is a saint or a witch. It’s as if reality television is sucking the brain cells out of us.
It seems that everyone’s main goal in life is to be a reality television star. I have no doubt that “octomom” expected to be given a reality show. Kids who want singing careers will not start a band and play in clubs and pay their dues that way; they want to be handed a singing career after auditioning on television for a few months. Reality television has become about people becoming famous for no reason other than having being on a reality show.
I miss the days when the networks concentrated on quality programming rather than what is the cheapest and easiest to produce. Thank God for cable networks such as HBO that are still producing quality.
I’ll say it again. Reality television has reached the limit of what can possibly be exploited for gain. I hope I am right but the way things are going, I’m not going to hold my breath.