I hate reality TV. I don’t much care for television in general, but this particular genre makes no sense to me. In fact, I’m writing this piece without naming any names or identifying any shows, because I don’t want to feed the beast any more than it’s already being fed.
It’s going to be hard to write this without becoming a Dana Carvey skit. (“In my day, television was in black and white, on a two inch screen, for 15 hours a day, and we liked it!”) The irony of a television reference here is pretty good. But Dana Carvey wasn’t famous because he was Dana Carvey. No, he was in skits on a TV show, and the skits made us laugh. When he was on Wayne’s World with Mike Myers, he was Garth, and Garth was Wayne’s bud, and the hilarity flowed from there.
One time Wayne Gretzky was on SNL, and he was on a Wayne’s World skit as Wayne Gretzky. I don’t recall it as being too funny, either. Who wants to watch somebody just be themselves for a half hour or an hour? Isn’t your own life interesting enough that you don’t have to become a spectator for someone else’s life? Watching Charlie Sheen play a character named Charlie–based on his own image–is one thing. But watching Charlie Sheen in real life is something else, entirely.
I like real life stories as much as the next person, and perhaps even more than most people do. But I will not buy into the premise that someone else’s life, in and of itself, is worthy of my time or attention. For real.