Wait, what reality…?
For me, dipping a toe into the pool that is reality TV, has been an disastrously bad decision. Relatively new to the genre, it began with my classic
New [edit – Old] Years Resolution of shedding my extra “cushion for the pushin’” in a bid to become healthier. I don’t exactly know how I linked this to watching The Biggest Loser because I sure as shit was not loosing any kilos by watching other people exhaust themselves– although believe me; the drama the program supplied was a mental workout in itself –yet there I was watching it.
Eight months later and this time I’ve convinced myself to watch Big Brother for “research purposes”. Who am I kidding?! Or more importantly, what is this research that I’m supposedly I’m doing? Realising that this justification was potentially more ludicrous than watching The Biggest Loser for weight loss inspiration (is that even possible?), I succumbed to admitting that I have fallen prey to the Venus Flytrap that is reality TV.
No escaping now…
One doesn’t need to look far to see that reality TV programs have taken over our box sets. I mean, you only need to turn on free to air TV in the evening to see the hijacking in effect – a smorgasbord of Big Brother, The Great Australian Bake-Off, Masterchef, X-factor, So You Think You Can Dance, The Voice or my personal favourite, Marry My Boy (kidding) awaits.
“Fever” is an understatement
Earlier this year Thirteen, a local PBS station in New York, released a fantastic advertising campaign to promote the quality content of their programming against their competitors. The result was various billboards showing something like this:
1. Bad Bad Bag Boys
2. Knitting Wars
3. Bayou Eskimos
5. Married to a Mime
The numbing reality of this campaign is that TV shows this ridiculous do actually exist these days. Even Jimmy Kimmel has pointed it out in this spoof, The Baby Bachelor.
**It should be noted that The Baby Bachelor went on to produce another 6 episodes.
I know it’s a joke (kind of..?) but is this honestly the future of television? Validating our own lives by watching the utterly absurd drama of others? Who knows, but it’s damn well cheaper to produce than Game of Thrones, that’s for sure. These days practically anything can be turned into a reality TV show and that’s exactly what’s happening – the shows are continuing to be produced and there’s no foreseeable end to it.
On the flip side, maybe that means they’ll soon run so short on ideas that they’ll create a program that combines The Block and Brat Camp where they have to help rebuild communities that have been affected by devastation.
There’s no telling if that would be a positive solution though. Hey, it could end up as something like The Real Gilligan’s Island –
– and for all our sakes, let’s hope they’re rescued before season two is approved.