Thursday, 27 March 2008
Reality is Unreal
I admit it! It's true! Call out the Neilson people because I am blowing the curve! I am not a fan of reality programming. I just cannot suspend my belief (or intelligence) far enough to care. I will confess that I have seen the odd show from time to time, and I will also admit to being a fan of The Amazing Race for several seasons. In truth, my fascination with this game hinges on the travel logs, which are stunning, and the husband's and my history with planning and executing several car rallies over the years. (if you wish to see this formerly annual event return, please flood the husband's e-mail. He needs to hear it from the masses!) For the most part, however, the genre does not interest me. I simply cannot muster enough enthusiasm for anyone who wants to be like Trump, wishes to starve half to death on a deserted island, wants to be cloistered for weeks at a time in a sealed house with a bunch of losers whose faces seem to have been lifted from local post offices, or wants to find "the one"! I cannot understand why we watch mostly "D" list celebrities learn to ballroom, or poor youngsters have their musical hopes and dreams crushed in front of hundreds of millions. I don't care if my dad can take your dad ( I am sure he can!) or if two crazy families want to take on each other's nightmare mom. If this is your entertainment of choice then go at it, but it simply bores me to tears. Who needs such semi-scripted drivel when we have the real thing flooding our entertainment vehicles every hour? I speak of course about the body politic. I wish I could say that I am discussing such erudite ideas as the current conflicts abroad or the stumbling economy. No, instead I am referring to the most recent revelation that the former governor of New York likes to pay 4 grand to do it with his socks on! (Why these guys can't keep their flies zipped is beyond me, but it reeks of utter stupidity!) Later that same week, we were subjected to Larry King (a voice of morality swimming against his personal history of 8 marriages!) interviewing the always tolerant (?) Dr. Laura Shlesinger as to why men cheat and how it must be their spouse's fault for not satisfying them at home. All the major 24 hr news outlets ran wall to wall coverage on the sexual dalliances of powerfully stupid male politicians who obviously didn't learn their lessons from the 42nd president. (Clinton-for those of us not keeping track of such things) There were reminders of Kennedy and Roosevelt, neither man a paragon of virtue during their times in the White House. There were histories of countless congressmen, senators, governors, and military men all caught with their proverbial pants down. There was file footage of numerous clergymen pleading for forgiveness from God, family and church (not necessarily in that order) for their careless breaking of one of the top ten. There were the psychotherapists. Dozens of them on every show at all hours of the day and night, spouting inane theories as to why this keeps happening. There were the inevitable offers from sleaze mags for the professional sex worker and paparazzi following her every move, bump and grind. It was in the mainstream media, the viral media, the internet and television. For all of our puritan ideas and moral spewing, North Americans love a good sex scandal and this one was great. It had everything the viewing audience could ask for. It had an enormously self-absorbed, power hungry and self righteous man ripe for the Mount Everest of falls. It had a long-suffering but quite brilliant wife who stood beside her philandering husband and looked as if the Apocalypse had indeed arrived. It had the gorgeous, but not too bright hooker who had no idea that she had just serviced the government of New York and it had the knives and swords of the political world out and itching for blood. How could anything be that good on reality TV? Eliot Spitzer and the high priced call girl? Now that's entertainment!!!