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TV Room General Jon and Kate and why should I care?
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Jon and Kate and why should I care?
It's a stupid show. It barely took a minute to realize. It's a show about a family. Actually, it's not even a show. Shows require plot and conflict. Would you ever watch a show about the interactions of you and your family? I didn't think so. So why does America tune in every week to these idiots? I wish I knew. OH MY GOD! THEY HAVE 8 KIDS! Really, Jon and Kate can be wiped from the equation. America really only wants to see their cute kids. TLC should rethink this.

The reality show revolution has me aching to leave Earth to seek seclusion from idiots. Why not live your own life rather than watch 3 hours of other peoples' every night? And why do the News Networks cover their lives? Jon and Kate already have a show, why can't they stay there? Why do I have to know every facet of their private lives when I don't even read the articles? Where does this obsession stem from? Are people living vicariously through these faux-celebrities?

For the lucky few that don't know about Jon and Kate plus 8. It is a reality show that follows this couple and their 8 young children. Recently, they got divorced. Oh my god. I know. Apparently Jon was cheating on Kate. Isn't he the devil? But I wonder how much of this can be blamed on having cameras in their house filming everything? I have no sympathy for Jon and I have no sympathy for Kate, they most likely brought it on themselves. But still, I don't even want to not have sympathy for them. I'd rather not even know who they were.

Why are we so fascinated by people like this and their problems? Why do reality shows exist and why won't they leave me alone?
The term "reality show" is oxymoronic. Reality shows are just that, shows, fiction, staged fake events with fake characters and fake consequences. People watch them for the same reason they watch other shows, for the plot and conflict and resolutions. There are so many accounts of producers triggering the events and emotions to meet their needs. They are actually less real than other television shows that aim to capture reality with the classical constraints of the television medium. Reality Shows are so far removed from reality that it's almost impossible to imagine a viewership that isn't watching with the inside knowledge that what they are watching bares no resemblance to our actual world.

Even the shows that aren't completely farcical like Top Chef are entirely removed from reality. Where in the real world would circumstances like the ones on Top Chef exist? It's all a puppet show with top executives pulling the strings. And it's not only the contestants and participants who are being manipulated, it's the viewers. And that's their choice. If they take enjoyment out of watching Jon and Kate's life, which would most likely look entirely different if not filmed, then that's their choice as able-minded adults. We certainly might not see any redeeming qualities to these shows, but as long as they aren't harming their viewership it shouldn't bother us in the least.

But there are some that do. VH1's collection of reality shows are not even border-line racist. They exploit gender and racial stereotypes very blatantly to win viewers who want only to see outrageous interactions. In particular, their portrayal of black women is consistently horrendous and deserving of forceful shut down on the part of the network. In one show Flavor of Love, where women must compete for the love of rapper Flava Flav, in the show's first episode they are even stripped of their names and appointed new ones by the Public Enemy MC himself.

How we let shows like this to continue at all let alone under the guise of reality is beyond me...
On 30 Rock two seasons ago an episode revolved around a fictional television show called Milf Island. The tagline: Twenty Milfs, Fifty 8th grade boys, no rules. Calling Tina Fey is a visionary might be giving her too much credit, but a year after this episode aired the show Cougar rocked Television Audiences everywhere. Saying that the show really rocked audiences everywhere is definitely giving it too much credit, but none-the-less it really did happen, almost exactly as prescribed by 30 Rock. One contestant  (20 younger guys competing for the affection of one 40 year old mother of four) had his first legal drink broadcasted on the show.

Another one of my favorites is Kid Nation. Alternate titles might be Return to Lord of the Flies or Children are Corruptible too. The premise of the show is simple: 40 kids ages 8-15 left to their own devices. The show begs the question who will eat the lead paint first? Before the show was decidedly canceled after one season, CBS was in talks to move the shooting to a location outside the United States where no pesky child enslavement laws might threaten to disrupt artistic merit. A pity it wasn't picked up again.

I sometimes worry about society. I worry that evils are accumulating beneath the surface and idiocy above. But then I remember just what cynicism really is and I resolve to not worry because it disrupts my bowels. And anyways, in looking at the scope of human history is reality television really that bad? Next to gladiator fights and slavery, shows like Survivor hardly seem so apocalyptic. Is that to say I think there should be a category in the Emmy for outstanding reality show? No, I don't think so. But I wonder if a regulatory board should be set up to oversee the production of new shows. Not that I'm  saying Cougar and Kid Nation aren't visionary works of brilliance, but maybe a few others are sending the wrong messages down the throats of the Reality Show viewership.
"For the lucky few that don't know about Jon and Kate plus 8. It is a reality show that follows this couple and their 8 young children."

"John and Kate plus Eight", "Glenn Beck", etc.: These cable shows get maybe 2, 3, 4, 5 million viewers on a regular basis, and yet someone says, "for the lucky few who don't know about Kate and Jon".  Or, "for the lucky few who don't know what the hell Glenn Beck said last night", etc.

The U.S.A. has more than  300 million citizens. Given the TV ratings of these cable stars why would those of us who don't give a damn about the Glenn Becks or the John and Kates of the world be considered the lucky few?  We are the lucky MANY.

Perspective. They aren't important.
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Latest Post: October 20, 2010 at 11:17 PM
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