Monday, June 6, 2011

My two cents about reality tv

I hate reality tv. My husband supports our family writing and editing articles about reality tv. This creates conflict in our marriage. Hey, I just had an idea for a sitcom. (Note: I did not say reality show.)

Often I find myself in the living room while Dalton is watching reality tv. Such was the case on a recent night. The Voice was on, and I was waiting for it to be over so we could watch Modern Family. The guy with the huge afro and his singing partner were preparing for their duet-off. (The show operates on the evil premise that the signers have to sing duets, and whoever does best, gets to stay on. Work together, guys, but make sure you make your "partner" look bad.) While I was trying to focus on the Dining section of the New York Times, Big Afro guy was talking about his “strategy” for faking out his singing “partner/competitor.”

That’s what I hate about reality shows. Everything is strategy and subterfuge and being fake. No one is being straight-up. An entire generation is learning that this is the way you should behave to be successful in the world.

I told Dalton my really insightful thought, and he disagreed. He said since he watches more reality tv, he knew more about it. And I said that no, it’s like when you live in a house that smells like cat pee you can’t smell it anymore, but if a guest comes over they can totally notice it.

That’s when he paused The Voice so we could watch my show.


  1. What I take away from this is that Dalton smells like cat pee.

  2. Not Dalton, but perhaps our house.

  3. I think you just blew my mind. I found your blog b/c I was reliving how much I loved Sassy as a teen, and then I was delighted to learn you live in the town next to mine (I'm in Verona) and now I realize from this post that you are married to Dalton of EW, who cracks my shit up all the time with his hilarious writing. I'm having a totally weird moment here, comprehending the awesomeness of all that. I know, it's just your normal life, but trust me, it's awesome. For me.

    And while I don't watch a ton of reality TV, I do partake of a few classics, like Survivor. Gotta love the Probst.

  4. "Everything is strategy and subterfuge and being fake. No one is being straight-up." Wait, that's NOT reality? :) Kidding. I think. Anyway, I'm sure that "Modern Family" MORE than made up for having to tolerate that drivel. Now that's a brilliant show.

  5. I watched a documentary about Temple Grandin (produced by the BBC). When they asked her what she thought about reality TV, she said something I'll never forget. Reality TV, according to the world's best animal behaviorist, teaches people how to be rude to each other.

    Damn. How true is that? Look at freaking Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant, even that horrid Jon and Kate Plus 8 (when it was still on). None of those people are remotely redeemable.

    I don't mind a competition but I hate that a game show is considered reality TV when it's a game show. I used to think that none of these shows are realistic; but as I go about my day to day business and see more rudeness in people and the ever growing sense of entitlement I think, yup, these shows are reality based.

    It sucks.

  6. I was about to make a valiant effort at convincing you it's JUST AS BAD when the watching in question is 97 hours of a documentary about ANY BAND OR JUST BORING CONCERT FOOTAGE THAT YOU HAVE SEEN BEFORE. But then I realized reality tv is actually worse than that.