Friday, April 17, 2009

'Reality' TV? Really?

I'm a sucker for the so-called 'reality' TV shows that have taken over the airwaves. American Idol, Hell's Kitchen, Rock of Love (I'm sorry to admit), Project Runway, Cops, if it has even a smidgen of 'real folks', I am so there. I like to root for the underdog and boo and hiss at the resident meanie.

Lately though, reality TV is not keeping it real. Hell's Kitchen is looking especially scripted this season. Chef Gordon Ramsay is so obviously over this whole thing. How many times can he call someone 'Donkey' or 'Donut'? Why, season after season, do the wannabe chefs have to make beef wellington, risotto and John Dory (what IS John Dory, anyway? I'm too lazy to google right now)?

Things aren't much better over at VH1. Rock of Love (short)Bus has been a wreck of epic proportions, but it's not very enjoyable when even Bret Michaels is looking like he would rather be over at Hell's Kitchen with Ramsay calling him a Donkey (hey, now there's a show).

Some of the newer entrants in the reality TV ring are disturbing. The Real Housewives franchise, for example. I don't know about you, but to me a 'real housewife' is busting her butt 24/7 taking care of her family, stressing over finances, etc. All I see these women do is try to outspend each other and drink a lot of wine. How come I didn't get to be that kind of wife?

Lastly, the kiddie pagent programs- Little Miss Perfect and Toddlers and Tiaras. I have only been able to watch about fifteen minutes of each of these shows. Good lord. I have several issues with these shows. First, since when is it considered attractive to spray your child with tanning mist until they look like Ooompa-Loompas? Orange skin is not healthy looking, no, I think that infact means you have some sort of disease. Also, why all the make-up, teased hair, false eyelashes, and mini-pole-dancer costumes? Why is all of this considered 'attractive' on a child? And what are kids learning from these pagents? I know some of the parents will say that their children are learning confidence, poise, grace, etc., but all I see are children who are being sexualized at a very young age, who are being robbed of their childhoods, and who will ultimately learn that your validity as a human being is based upon how 'pretty' you are. I also think that some pagent parents seem to be living vicariously through their children, seeking for them the attention they feel they never got. I find these shows more sad than entertaining.

So what about you? What are some of your favorite 'reality' programs? Are they keeping it real?


Kelly said...

I was briefly hooked on Jon & Kate Plus 8. As the mother of an only child, watching a woman deal with 8 small children was like watching a family of ducks try to cross the interstate. I was horrified and yet I. Could. Not. Stop. Watching.

I spent some time in TV rehab to get over that one.

Carol said...

Rita gets irate at the Jon & Kate plus 8 show...she think the momma is a mega bitch! Just mention it to her the next time you's kind of fun watching that's reality tv!

Kelley said...

Oh Jon & Kate, where to begin? Kate is a screaming harpy. I don't have 8 kids running around, so I'm sure I don't understand her frustration level, and having a camera in your face can't help matters. But. How are you effectively communicating with your child(ren) if all you do is yell? Yikes.