GOOD MORNING WORLD
KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS
SELLING SPELLING MANOR
ICE LOVES COCO
ICE ROAD TRUCKERS
REAL WIVES OF___________(NAME THAT TOWN)
I could have gone on even longer with the above list. I was going to write about these and then a comment yesterday triggered this post. Where did these shows come from and when did they begin?
Probably the first of this group was SURVIVOR. This show popped up on CBS in the May 2000. It was adapted for the USA from the British show ‘Expedition Robinson’ which was created by Charlie Pearsons the late 1990s. It is still going strong on TV.
SURVIVOR takes contestants to a desolate place and ‘maroons’ them there for about 40 days. It is called a game as they try to be the last one standing and the winner of the $1million dollar prize. I have to admit watching some of the first year until it became boring to watch these people manipulate each other. You would be amazed, maybe not, of the popularity of this show and the nations who have their own versions. Check it out in Wikipedia. There are over a dozen nations that host a SURVIVOR like show
Next on the reality show list are the shows that put people in a house to live together. Come on people how real is this? The Bachelor has people living in the lap of luxury as he tries to find a wife. How many of these people are living and acting like they normally do. How real is this relationship? It already is on a rocky foundation if all are not living like they do in their normal lives.
Or you could watch Jersey Shore where it appears they are living a reality in their home towns. Then again if you normally live alone or with a roommate are you living an authentic life if you are put in a house with other people?
We have the Kardashians and Spellings. Now these are people I can relate to – not! The uber rich who have no idea what it is to clean a bathroom. Or maybe they have an idea though they have others to do it. We see them arguing. Is this something I need to watch?
Next we get to the real life stuff. We are spending hours watching other people work. We watch them get logs from swamps, cut down big trees, drive big rigs on ice (why?), catch gators and all other such wildlife. We watch people struggle with their weight on Biggest Loser and arrests in Cops. AND of course the granddaddy of them all DUCK DYNASTY!
I have recently been introduced to this show. It really is funny. These people are real. I know that as I read about them before the show. They make duck calls. Imagine it! Millions from a small whistle! As I catch all these shows flipping through channels, or watch them as I was outvoted, I wonder how many are scripted?
Why are reality shows such a hit? I have absolutely no idea. I go back to the Roman Empire with the debauchery of the Christians in the arena and the cheering of the gladiators killing each other and wonder. When a society gets to a certain point do they enjoy watching the reality others are living rather than create and live their own? Are our lives so shallow as to think this is gripping TV? Maybe it is simply a cop out for a few hours on nothingness. As a child of the TV era, I can tell you this is not great TV. At least I don’t think so.
I did not get into any other, now called reality, shows other than the first season of SURVIVOR and that was sporadic. The only thing I see that SURVIVOR gave us as a lasting legacy is the saga of Richard Hatch wasting his winnings and going to jail and Elisabeth Hasselback on THE VIEW.
The only reality that I watch on TV is the news of the day and that is really a reality I do not want sometimes. If I am watching TV I want to enjoy what I am watching by experiencing some sort of emotional connection to the show. Remember when you knew that when Dick Van Dyke fell over the stool or Archie and Edith sung that it was going to be a fun night? Well when the music for Big Bang Theory or Law and Order start you know entertainment is not far away! Give me entertainment not reality! Bazinga!!!
…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…