Reality shows have created a bizarre phenomenon in which individuals with no real talent have become celebrities. At the risk of offending those of you who are fans of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, or Snookie, I see no real reason to idolize these women who are tragic messes. I know that many were dazzled by the exorbitant lifestyles which Paris and Kim have been born into, and that others were intrigued by the partying lifestyle which Snookie led while on Jersey Shore, but these women lack talent. Money can buy many things, but it cannot buy talent, nor can it buy common sense. I know fans of Snookie applaud her for cleaning up her act and having a baby, but honestly, she needed to grow up. If she had continued on the track she was on before, she would have careened into serious mishaps which would have completely destroyed her.
Then we have shows like The Real World, Big Brother, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette. How is it fair that people who are only remarkable for their desire to be followed by cameras can become so incredibly popular? The melding of reality TV with the game show concept has created a hybrid that draws viewers in but which heightens the contrived atmosphere of living in a house together while filming takes place. All the people living in the house are pitted against each other and want to win the big prize, which heightens tensions and theoretically makes good television. At least shows like America’s Next Top Model, Survivor, Amazing Race, America’s Got Talent, American Idol, The Voice, The Biggest Loser, and Project Runway showcase true talent, athleticism or a dogged determination to transform. I regard the individuals who have met with great success through talent based shows as worthy of the accolades and fandom which they have achieved from being on a reality show.
I see no value in shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or The Real Housewives and find it laughable that the so-called stars of these shows achieved such recognition largely as a result of displaying their ridiculous and messed up lives without cowering in shame. I think if a family is going to be followed that most of the family members need to exhibit true star quality. Two families which I found rather interesting were the Osbournes and the Simmons family (Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels). I watched both of these shows while they were airing, and they held my interest because these families were powerful, talented and quirky, and also because I had been a fan of Black Sabbath and Kiss. Though both of these families actually possessed talent, this has not been the case for other musician families. As predicted, the networks milked this concept with a multitude of similar shows which have come and gone.
Here is a link to a site which has a list of all the reality shows, and it is staggering in its immensity:
Hopefully a new generation of TV programming will emerge which will hold the interest of an increasingly overstimulated population and which will also award celebrity status to people who actually have the talent and star presence to deserve such an honor.