Posted in 1 Point Perspective, Humor, News, Uncategorized

Waiter! What’s This Reality Doing In My Reality TV?!

It was a grand experiment putting cameras in the middle of a group of people and recording their every fart for 72 hours, editing it down to 18 minutes of concentrated reality and then selling it to the networks.  It was also an incredible way to cut costs on talent, with no paychecks being cut for actors or writers.  Despite someone coming up with an even less expensive form of entertainment, called YouTube, we must accept that reality TV is here to stay.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?  Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk! (Image from parentpreviews dot com)
Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do? Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk! (Image from parentpreviews dot com)

Producers embraced the formula of following people around with cameras and sound guys and hoping like hell that something interesting happened.  Show creators who were early to the party had their pick of fun and exciting groups of people to film, and shows like “COPS” and “The Deadliest Catch” were TV gold.  After all, there was no shortage of action on crab boats or police cars.  The key for these reality pioneers was to follow the right crab boats and the right cops.  It turns out that fishing 150 miles off the coast of Alaska is a whole lot more exciting to watch than some guy with a crab trap full of chicken necks trying his luck off of a railroad bridge outside of Mahahawkin, NJ.  Similarly, it was a good idea to film COPS episodes in trailer parks and housing projects where bare-chested men with home made tattoos were more likely to be having slap fights with their common-law wives.  It was no coincidence that COPS never spent much time doing ride-alongs in affluent suburbs – there’s a paucity of toothless meth addicts and street corner drug dealers to chase in places like Reston, Virginia.

Kicked off the railroad bridge by local police and perilously low on chicken necks, Benny took to a local dock, still intent on catching his quota before the end of crabbing season.  (Image from the Press of Atlantic City dot com)
Kicked off the railroad bridge by local police and perilously low on chicken necks, Benny took to a nearby dock, still intent on catching his quota before the end of crabbing season. (Image from the Press of Atlantic City dot com)

Anything this successful in the world of entertainment is going to be done ad nauseum.  We’ve watched like well-trained zombies as camera crews followed exterminators, gold miners, homicide detectives, Kardashians, wedding gown salesmen, cake decorators and God knows who else.  My TV won’t stop telling me about the exciting shows coming up where we’ll soon be privy to the behind the scenes drama of rodeo girls.  Rodeo girls?!  You make the popcorn and I’ll get the barbiturates!

As we can see from shows like “Rodeo Girls”, show developers are constantly searching for people in or on the fringe to thrust into reality stardom.  One enterprising group of show developers at A&E happened upon a diamond in the rough in rural Louisiana; a financially successful family of country folk.  It was like the Beverly Hillbillies with no Milburn Drysdale and a few extra Jethro Bodines.  A ton of episodes later, “Duck Dynasty” has turned into a major franchise in reality TV.

Phil Robertson portrait.  We can safely assume that phallic object in his mouth is a duck call or a carrot.  (Image from college-football dot si dot com)
Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. We can safely assume that phallic object in his mouth is either a duck call or a carrot. (Image from college-football dot si dot com)

In recent weeks, videos have surfaced of  Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, (he’s the one in the camo tux) saying all kinds of politically incorrect things.  Phil’s topics have included such hot topics as gay bashing and his belief that homosexuality leads to bestiality, some racial insensitivity and most recently, suggesting that men marry 15 year old girls.  As one might expect, people are up in arms.  The network is struggling to deal with a bearded goose which has suddenly started laying exploding eggs.

For all our clamoring for reality shows featuring eccentric oddballs, there is a discomfort when these characters turn out to be a little too authentic.  It appears that as much as the viewing public enjoys reality TV, we simply don’t want too much reality.  Anyone with half a brain* will accept that there are those among us with unique views on race, just as there are those with homophobic ideologies or a taste for the younger versions of young ladies.  While it’s desirable to watch as reality stars live the bumpkin dream of making a small fortune by successfully selling duck calls, we just don’t want to know if they may actually embrace some of the politically incorrect views we’d typically expect to find in the backwater locales of some of our redder states**.

For anyone who’s interested, I’ve got a great idea for a new reality TV series.  Cameras will follow around a bunch of A&E executives and producers as they try to figure out how to solve the problems posed by the rants of one of their reality TV superstars.  We’ll be glued to our flat screens as spin doctors in Armani suits try to minimize the damage of one of Phil’s outrageous comments, only to have another gem surface a few hours later!  The gritty drama interspersed with zany hi-jinx will make for Emmy-worthy entertainment.

As is always the case when I blog about possible formats for new reality shows, I offer this concept free of charge, asking only that my name and blogs are featured in the show credits.  Also, I should get one of those Emmy’s***.

* In the spirit of correctness with which I’ve got to write if I ever hope to be employed by A&E, I’d like to point out that having half a brain is a difficult handicap physical challenge and people who live life with such a disability should be applauded and not confused with the common phrase of ones having “half a brain” or the similar label of being a “half wit”.  In the event that a network decides to base a new reality show on the adventures of a group of people struggling to live with only partial brains, please leave me out of it.  Besides, it’s been done already – witness any episode of “Jersey Shore”?

** People with politically incorrect ideas can be found in any corner of the United States of America, and indeed anywhere in the world.  The author’s use of red states as a qualifier is not meant to imply that residents of said states harbor any such aberrant values; It was simply a ploy used to make residents of blue states feel even more superior than usual.  This description was also not meant to convey any bias toward color-blind readers.

*** I don’t want to come off as a profiteer, but my altruism only runs so deep.  Screw the Emmy and give me some cold, hard cash.

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Author:

I used to write a fair amount here on my blog, but then I got lazier and now I only manage to write over at The Nudge Wink Report once every month or so.  I only write there because of assigned deadlines and my unflagging allegiance to a woman I've never met but love anyway, the lovely Blogdramedy herself.  My current profile there is a 30,000 word run-on-sentence and ends up keeping people from scrolling all the way to the comments section.  As any blogger will tell you, posting without getting comments is like kissing your first cousin - and not in a hot, West Virginia sort of way.  I'm hoping this little blurb can take the place of the other profile and allow people to actually reach the comments section.

60 thoughts on “Waiter! What’s This Reality Doing In My Reality TV?!

    1. I find that watching my own life and pretending it’s a reality show is very enjoyable. I particularly enjoy the commercial breaks, which give me time to step back and figure out how to get myself out of the latest pickle.

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        1. People like their reality stars to be quirky, but politically correct quirky…I honestly don’t see how anyone could be surprised that someone who never aspired to TV stardom could harbor opinions which don’t jibe with the socially accepted norms. Then again, I don’t know understand the appeal of watching hill folk scampering around in the woods either.

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            1. Umm…I hate to break the news to you, but they already have filmed you doing that. Despite a significant amount of digitizing, true Gingerfightback fans are able to tell it’s you by the stylish wrist work you employ for even the most personal or mundane tasks.

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  1. I would be glued to my set watching a show that revealed how these shows get created. I want to see the faces of the people who thought something like “Rodeo Girls” would be a good idea and I really, really want to hear what didn’t make the cut…now that’s entertainment.

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    1. Although I’m sure it would be very entertaining, it would never make the air. No show where executives and creative consiultants sit and discuss what idiots the viewing public must be could ever see the light of day.

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      1. That is crap I’ll watch dammit! This fascinates me trying to figure out why and how they choose these shows. I’d also love to see the guy who decides these are fantastic ideas and sends more people out with cameras and boom equipment

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        1. It’s hard for me not to poke fun at reality TV. Every time I feel like giving it a rest, a new show pops up. I was watching a donut making competition show last night. It was all I could do to keep from dropping myself in a vat of hot oil then rolling around in confectioners sugar.

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            1. On another topic, it appeared the frozen weather followed you all the way to Georgia. Have the citizens of Atlanta politely asked you and hubby to please take your polar vortex and beat a hasty path back to the land of the Canooks?

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              1. I have a signed note saying it is not our fault.
                But just in case, we’re not leaving the condo for fear people will recognize we hail from the frozen tundra.
                I sit on the balcony in my fur-lined bikini, drinking hot toddys and cursing the weather gods.

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  2. I think your pitch is fantastic. Sublime. The only possible tweak I can recommend is that the A&E Executive show is combined with Deadliest Catch. We could call it, “Things Without Backbones.”

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  3. Reblogged this on Blogdramedy and commented:

    I’ve had a bit too much of the cold variety of reality. The 2013 ice storm is still kicking my butt with intermittent power outages and NO INTERNET SERVICE! Reading Dave’s post about reality tv shows has brought it all into “perspective.” Thanks Dave!

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  4. I am so not a reality show fan … that stuff drives me crazy all the Housewife and Kardashian crapola dude. I could live without that, you know there is even a show called Amish Mafia? Dude I had no idea it had gone to these extremes and that people continue to watch.Apparently there’s still something called Big Brother. Dude Cut it out already. But the only show that I did like watching was the Alaska crab fishermen Deadliest Catch … I thought that was kind of cool for a couple of seasons until one of the main dudes died. But if your show ever comes on the air, I’d totally watch it.

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  5. I wonder who writes the scripts for reality TV.

    I lose brain cells every time they’re on, and because I didn’t smoke pot in college, I still have several dozen to protect valiantly.

    “Next Great Baker” just makes me hungry and forces upon me at least two more crushes I don’t have time for. Thanks, Cake Boss.

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  6. Shocking! Every last person hasn’t been indoctrinated into the PC cult.
    Oh well, I can sleep better at night knowing that the powers that be are working tirelessly to correct that so that someday all cultures and beliefs people have in this world will eventually merge into one neutral and inert miasma.
    Won’t the world be a fascinating place then!

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