Reality Bytes

How much reality TV is too much reality TV? Just glance at the website Reality TV World (yesÖthere is a site devoted to this), and the list of shows will floor you. no reservations promo

Just a sample selection yields Amazing Race, The Bachelorette, The Biggest Loser, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Cops, Dancing with the Stars, Cake Boss, Chef Academy, Dance Your Ass Off (really!), Deal or No Deal, Ghost Hunters, HGTV Design Star, Jersey Shore, Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane (who sez ďfabĒ anymore?), The Marriage Ref, Nanny 911, Parking Wars, The Real Housewives of ___ fill in the blank, So You Think You Can Dance, Survivor, Temptation Island, Top Chef, Wife Swap, and a newcomer, Worst Cooks in America.

Itís easy to say I hate reality TV but then I have to admit that I have watched some of these shows (the weakness for home buying/renovation is too strong an urge to resist). Anthony Bourdainís louche attitude amuses me. The Dog Whisperer fascinates me (the psychology of dogs is not so far from the psychology of humans). I also periodically watch The Soup so that I can a.) find out what crazy new developments there are in the world of reality TV, and b.) not have to watch the entire reality show for the one superb nugget of absurdity that it offers. Plus the show is so darn snarky.

the soup promoHow much is too much? Well, itís easy for me to draw the line at shows where women get punched in the face (Jersey Shore) or anyone swaps mates. I can skip all the dance shows or anything that Donald Trump has ever gotten his slimy paws near. The quiz shows and fashion themed shows bore me. I have never seen American Idol (and donít need to, really). Celebrity Rehab? Thatís so sad. Bounty Hunters? Please! And whatís the deal with all the Wives of Various Places? Are the real wives Orange County so different from wives of Atlanta? Do I need to know anything about the wivesí lives? I donít think so.

So the existential conundrum for today is ---- drumroll ---- if everything is a reality TV show, what do you call the life weíre living? We laugh, we cry, we struggle to thrive and survive, and we do it without an audience!

Alas, there is most likely not enough drama in our lives to make it worthy to the reality meisters. Making asses of ourselves everyday will have to remain a solitary pleasure.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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