Monday, October 8, 2012

The Warping Of Reality (TV)

I'm probably one of the most liberal TV watchers there are. Growing up I watched TV as much as I could. ANYTHING I could. It could have been Bowling for Dollars and if that was all I could get, I'd tune right in. As a little kid, I positioned my bed so that, if I cracked the door just so, I could see the TV in the living room. I saw The Munsters and Laugh-In that way! Finally, I saved my money for about a year to buy a tiny black and white TV for my bedroom. It got exactly 3.5 channels. I say .5 because CBS would cut in and out making it almost impossible to watch. PBS came in pretty well, all the way from Clearfield, PA. ABC brought me my soaps and that kept me happy. I remember my Dad coming into my room and seeing about 10 minutes of "Three's Company" declaring it "garbage" and walking back out. I loved it. 

Bringing us to reality TV.  Everyone and their mother has an opinion on it...and frankly, I can deal with just about all of it. (I still say Phil Donahue pioneered an early form of "reality show" with his gritty talk show and that thing used to mesmerize me).
You want to give young kids unlimited amounts of alcohol, put them in a tiny apartment (or in Vegas) and see what happens? Hell ya, I'll watch. You want to parade little tots all dolled up and interview their crazy mamas? Sure!! Stick people on an island with limited food and water and let it rip? Heck, I'm there. Hoarders? Addicts? Obese people? People who are told they will be "transformed" if only they splay open their body parts on TV? Dish it up! I've always defended my love of the genre as my being interested in weird documentaries over the years. (Ok, ok... but you look back at Faces of Death and tell me that wasn't  an indication of things to come!)

I loved the minute Teresa Guidice flipped that table on RHONJ. I grinned watching Kelly Bensimon have her melt down on the vacation from hell. LOVED it.  Bethany and Jill...well, that started the little voice in my head saying "look away".  For the first time you could just see how the show imploded these two people's friendship to the point of no return. It was harsh, it was sad...but still, I thought hey, Bethenny got her own show--Jill is guesting on talk shows, who am I to judge? Keep it rollin'...!! Plus the fact that Bravo Andy made it all seem okay. His cute smile, genuine "concern" for the ladies and after show drinking were all part of the package. 

Then the suicide happened. When Russell Armstrong killed himself I thought "well surely they aren't going to show that season" stupid was I? Of course they showed it! They showed the ladies and their hubbies dishing about it before the show in some sort of "serious examination" of the situation. Would Russell have killed himself if he wasn't in a microscope? We'll never know. It was  an uncomfortable turning point but I still barreled on, because hey... he was a abusive guy anyway. Was it that wrong to tell his story if it helped some woman from being in the same situation? Nah... couldn't be. 

Reality raged on. Then this season of RHONJ happened. And it wasn't so much the season that got me thinking, it's the dang finale that's making me cringe. We have actually watched two families implode on TV --all seemingly for the sake of fame.  There's a point in the second reunion show where Andy looks positively white under his spray tan.  It's around the time that Teresa is yelling about Kathy calling her mother a liar and she moves seats. You can hear Rosie in the back ground going shit-bananas. Look at his face. It's almost like "holy hell...what have we wrought"?? Would these people be doing this in the privacy of their own home? Nah.. if they never went on the show the "cookbook" fiasco would never have happened. The tabloid crap wouldn't have exacerbated the entire fight between everyone. No nasty tweets. No one would care if Lauren Manzo got a lap band. Caroline would have been the nice lady that helped at the Brownstone. This reunion was vicious. Not even a little fun. Just tragic. 

When Joe stepped out and (I'm assuming lied his face off) about his "phone call" I started having this feeling in my throat. Like..what am I doing watching this? Teresa's 'smiling' face nodding like it was all fine. Then Jacqueline spilling hugely private BFF secrets. Just tossing them out there. (not that I blame her, I'm just sayin') I saw a tweet from Teresa today saying she "put up all the texts from Jac on her blog". Good LORD! :throwingmyhandsup: 
You are worrying about that when your sister in law is saying she's moving because she's afraid her daughter is going to feel bad going to her school with your kids? 

This season has made me think I may be done with the Housewives. Real or not, it's a bit too vile to be a voyeur to anymore. I will watch the Reunion Part 3 because let's face it, I'm not THAT noble but I won't LIKE IT!! lol  Mark my words, someone is going to get seriously hurt or murdered as a result of one of these shows and we'll all go: Huh. Didn't see that coming!
But we did, Blanche, we did. 

And as for Mr. Cohen...I love the guy. Read his the fact he drinks late at night with the likes of Wendy Williams and dishes all the dirt. But I wonder...there's a thin line that separates he and the guy that did  "Girls Gone Wild" a very thin one. I just hope he can keep sleeping at night as the seasons tick by. 


Anonymous said...

I have never watched any of the Real Housewives shows...but while flipping through channels I watched a bit of the reunion - oy.
Are people so starved for attention that they would want to get themselves on tv for their 15 minutes of fame? Or are we so bored that we settle for this being considered entertainment?

Andrea said...

I have never watched the Real Housewives. I don't find being a bitch, backstabbing and thowing people under the bus entertaining.

It is like watching a train wreck. And the producers of these shows are making a fortune because they are dirt cheap to make and people are lined up out the door to be on one. They stay on TV well beyond there time. Do we really need another season of the bachelor?

Being from NJ I am embarrassed that by far the worst of the reality shows are centered here. There are plenty of shops/towns here that do not allow these shows to tape. They make it seem that everyone from NJ is italian, Loudmouthed, stupid over made-up and scantily dressed.

I'm tired of "reality Tv" and I miss TV, as like Karen I was a HUGE TV watcher growing up. The day my family got a VCR was the best. With so many channels and the networks/cable stations today and the limited time they allow to get a show to have an audience; I don't see this changing anytime soon.

Avalonn said...

Awwww, Jack, Janet and Chrissy :) I miss real entertainment!