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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Realities Of "Reality"

I honestly expected this to happen much earlier.



For weeks, I have been joking on Twitter that the reactionary Right - in all their mouth agape worship of all things "Palin Family Oriented" - would find some way to blame liberals/progressives and non-Fox media if Bristol were voted off Dancing With The Stars. It was jeering and satirical and really didn't have any sort of noticeable impact on those that follow my "tweets", and that's really what a many Americans think about not only Bristol, but her entire family - that they are so fame hungry and mind-numbingly inane that they have become as culturally relevant at the Kardashians; unless you REALLY love reality TV

I fully expect Bristol to win. I expect her to win based solely on who she is an not because she has any sort of discernible dancing skill. I expect this because of the natures of "reality television". By that, I mean that it is in no way, shape, or form grounded in "reality" whatsoever.

Can any of you recall when the concept of "reality television" first took hold in America? It was almost as if, overnight, quality programming disappeared from non-cable channels. Then again, the quality had been diminishing for a while, but with the inception of programs like "Survivor" and "American Idol", the death of American television began to take shape.

Certainly, there are great programs out there now - Modern Family, 30 Rock, and Criminal Minds are three that I can think of that have blasted into our living rooms since "reality" programming vomited it's first intellectually devoid narratives. So where are the truly thought provoking, provocative, and stimulating programs? Not on "The Big Three", that's for certain. But let's not get off track here.

Bristol will win DWTS, Fox"News" will do endless interviews, conservative talk radio with encourage their easily lead fanbase to verbally masturbate to honor her "success" and the Palin family will try to find some way to show that this proves they are "real Americans". That's how this thing works - the gimmick wins.

I can honestly recall a time when ABC was a source for information, not an outlet for non-stories best left to grocery store magazines and TMZ. Then again, uber-commercialism is the new god in American pop culture - and you get to share in that spotlight right now so long as your last name is Palin

1 comment:

Poopyman said...

Reality TV was born out of the 1988 Writer's Guild strike. It was first a way to produce programming without the need for unionized writers, but probably the biggest (IMO) advantage that it gave the studios was as another bargaining chip against the writers - they no longer needed writers to produce popular programming.

And here we are today, with a lot of "reality" TV actually being scripted. I doubt DWTS is, but that's not relevant to this post.

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