Thursday, July 2, 2009

Reality TV Commentary...UnTwtittered.

The following is a re-constructed version of a series of tweets made earlier today...We hope you enjoy and are even affected by the commentary. Please feel free to comment.


Insomnia has claimed me, and since no one is getting my txts anyway, I figure why not tweet about something every one's sick of anyway: Reality TV.

So we were watching "The Real World: Cancun" and to be honest, I'm shocked and slightly appalled by the fact that the American public gets off, sometimes literally on other peoples' drama and misfortune.

Just look at our sick fascination with "Jon and Kate Plus 8". We watch, as their marriage falls apart with sick fascination. The ratings soar and then we either blame Jon for cheating allegations he's denied or Kate for being the uxorious wife, who we've watched and criticized.

And here's the thing that drives me crazy the most, probably because I too, am guilty of it: we cut their paychecks. We do! We are the ones who are responsible for whether or not they get endorsements because we watch. And then we emulate this behavior!

Because we want to be just like them and have the prestige of going, doing or having whatever the Gosslins or whomever else we're attached to via tv gi, do or have.

And then we sit back and watch as other people's world's crumble and we, as viewers point fingers and place blame. Maybe, just maybe because it's a hell of a lot easier than looking at our own flaws.

So next time you sit down to watch an episode of something that falls into the non-scripted variety of show ask yourself this: am I part of the vicious machine driving the reality TV show monster? If the answer is yes, give yourself a pat on the back for admitting it, and remember this friends: when you sit down to watch TV, don't forget your brain. Because perhaps, if we watch TV with a little more intelligence and a little less judgment, watching the runaway train of some one's marriage crash and burn in front of our very eyes would not be considered "entertainment" and instead it would be looked upon as sheer and inappropriate voyeurism.

I think the thing that bugs me most about all of this is not so much the fact that we sit back and judge these people's behaviors from our living room sofas, but instead it's the fact that we condone the behavior by watching. I mean, seriously, it's not as if any of us are "BFF" with Kate so we can't say: yeah, Kate you might want to re-think signing a contract for season 6. Jon seems pretty unhappy. Instead we tune in or tivo every second and we buy the Us Weekly's and In-Touches so we don't miss a moment of the drama. But what I think hasn't fully engaged in our heads is this: these are people's lives. This is not some scripted show where things are somehow magically going to be all better. And we have just sat back and watched as a family has disintegrated. And we call it entertainment.

I guess I'll get off my giant soapbox of doom and attempt to go back to sleep. Thanks to Colin for his generous comment. And please remember this: when watching TV, never forget your brain.

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