The “Real” World Keeps on Turning… on Reality TV


It feels like only yesterday when I ran into my first trouble. After that, I started to feel increasingly detached from reality. What do you need to consider about Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai Written Update.

It was my first big blunder to voice a query that, at the time, seemed quite reasonable: “Why am I watching a houseful of sophomoric brats argue about who should rightfully wash the dirty dishes?” My second blunder was assuming too quickly that such a ridiculous TV show would never become famous. A good fifteen years have passed since then. This reality television style has become so widespread that not even George Orwell could have imagined a Big Brother so terrifying. I’ve been Punk’d because of how ridiculous this new TV reality is.

The petty squabbles and sticky pursuits of so many dumbstruck dormitory dunces continue to entertain me, and now even the iconoclasts of academic revolt wish to return to such stunted developmental stages for the chance to have a million-dollar camera capture their every worthless action.

So I was shocked to see Tommy Lee, bad-boy drummer for Motley Crue, ditch his leopard-skin thong and hang out with regular college coeds in the 2002 film Tommy Lee Goes to College. But then I remember how sad it is that iconic musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison were never given the respect they deserved during their lifetimes because they didn’t earn that annoying four-year degree. And if for no other reason, Mr. Lee may confidently announce to the world that he has completed The Iliad. Or had his svelte, underwear-revealing instructor recite it to him. And that’s something that can never be taken away.

Naturally, the scraggly, disheveled has-been would have to cut his hair, button up his tank top, and face a sixteen-week job interview, which also counts as “reality” television, if he wanted to use this undergraduate certificate to get “real” work. You can call me crazy, but I’ve never had a job interview that lasted more than sixteen minutes, and I’m proud of that fact.

How naive have we gotten when we are eager to give our all for the chance to be hated and fired before even being provided the courtesy of being included on the payroll? The former contestant on The Apprentice puts a stop to that. They come in looking their best, briefcase in hand and suit jacket well ironed, ready to go the extra mile to prove how unqualified and incompetent they are to be a candidate on Fire Me.

To say I feel a little out of place as a sensible, responsible employee right now would be an understatement. To escape the corporate shills, product placement, pompous comb-overs, and backstabbing confrères, a civilized person may feel like throwing in the metaphorical towel and fleeing to a deserted island in the Pacific. But, unfortunately, even this fantastical idea has lost its luster.

Nowadays, wherever you go, there’s a film team right behind you. The funny thing is, now all we can do is pine away for the days when the cast made more sense as a ragtag collection of outcasts and incompetents who couldn’t find their way off the island. It’s hard to believe, but currently, people compete on The Real Gilligan’s Island to see who can become the worst nightmare of the Skipper. Even for a visionary like the Professor, this is an advancement that, in my judgment, would have been hard to foresee.

The unfortunate reality is that there is no way to stop the rise of reality television. And I have to say; it’s getting to my already battered psyche. I may not have been Bobby Brown and thrown away any natural talent or thrown away a significant fortune, but I know what it’s like to be in his shoes. But with a healthy mouth full of teeth.

I WAS SADDENED when I realized that not even the most unquestionable truths could be relied upon in this chaotic, mixed-up new reality. Once upon a time, we all held our breath as pure and innocent princesses ruthlessly rejected suitors one by one, hoping that true love would ultimately prevail. Even if it’s just a prime-time broadcast of a televised wedding, it’s better than nothing. Jen Scheft’s terrible season of The Bachelorette shows that these days, months of anticipation and endless rose ceremonies provide little more than small personal insights and unjustifiable statements about wishing to be single.

The days of gathering ’round the pavilion to watch Trista declare her undying love for Ryan before riding off into a commercial-free sunset to reclaim the anonymity she complained she’d lost are long gone. However, this Average Joe still has network hits like Bridezillas and Beauty and the Geek to restore his faith in romance. That is until her performance on Dancing with the Stars as a prima ballerina is over.

My skepticism urges me to criticize her for her apparent double standard, which is unworthy of honest, self-assured people like herself. Those brave souls who say out loud, “I Want to Be a Hilton!” or “I Want to Be a Soap Star!” However, whenever such pessimism rears its ugly head, I remind myself that even a failure like Rob can catch a winner like Amber on occasion and that after making one more obligatory appearance on The Amazing Race, maybe home bliss truly is the ultimate Survivor.

This is very comforting to me because my life has been irrevocably altered by Martha Stewart’s departure, at least insofar as napkin folding and fern trimming are concerned.

On the other hand, I’m sure you’ve noticed no shortage of cooking tips emanating from the city formerly known as “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Unfortunately, it’s now so full of foul language and unpleasant conflict that it’s unappealing. As a result, a whole industry has developed around food production, consumption, and employment opportunities. However, ten years ago, I would not have believed you if you had told me that the careers of aspiring chefs, hairstylists, babysitters, and home repair subcontractors would all make for exciting viewing. I pray I live to see the day when janitors and typists finally get the recognition they deserve.

The sheer number of reality series appearing in TV Guide is cause for concern. Shows like American Idol, which boasts the arrogance to highlight and reward great brilliance, are an excellent illustration. A glimmer of hope and a humming of inspiration might have once been enough to propel a career, but I’m not so sure now.

In the past, getting a recording contract was contingent on being vulnerable to a global audience. Even on a show like Project Runway, where inexperienced designers fight for their clothing line, I can see and appreciate the significant abilities required to make it through The Cut. So You Think You Can Dance: Gettin’ Jiggy Wit.

It is a great show, but what makes it truly exceptional? There’s no way it’s a trophy proclaiming its owner the “World’s Greatest Choreographer.” A basic level of education and training is required for this position if only to learn how to say the job title correctly. The Scholar knows this is fine for contestants hoping to win the title of America’s Next Top Model.

Those times of “father know best” are over. Unfortunately, we now live in a global village where Hogan is correct. I’d say, “Welcome to the ‘hood,” but hear me out: The Osbournes’ presence in the neighborhood will undoubtedly cause a steep drop in home prices.

The impact of all this reality programming on the terrible generation Growing up Gotti worries me even more than the possibility of selling our collective soul at half its original value. The cultural fruit we reap will be distinctly unreal if people are willing to wait in lines that stretch for ten city blocks to participate in a sixteen-week job interview while complaining that the more traditional sixteen-minute garden variety involves too much “real” work.

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