S/N – Pay no mind to all the pictures of Jesse Pinkman. He was requested by today’s Topic commenter Vanessa. Thanks Van 🙂 I can see why you asked me to blog about him.
In 1992 my whole 14 year old existence was rocked by a legendary, groundbreaking television show on MTV titled The Real World.
The concept was simple; It was the true story of 7 strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.
And I was the fuck OBSESSED. I watched that show every time it came on. I didn’t care if it was an episode I had already seen I was into it because, for my generation, there had never been anything like it before on television.
Fast forward twenty-one years into the future. The Real World premise has given birth to a multitude of TV Shows ranging from singing competitions, home renovations and riveting “documentaries” like the always profound Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the classy Real Housewives franchises.
That’s right Aaron. According to Edictive shows like Love and Hip Hop, Bad Girls Club, Braxton Family Values and Basketball Wives are ALL, for lack of a better term, filed under Documentary/Docu-Series in the Reality Television genre. Ergo, every week, if you include the entire half year he spends sucking us into American Idol, Ryan Seacrest treats us to a documentary about the lives of famewhores.
Initially The Real World was never referred to as a Reality TV show. We honestly just called it a TV show, or referred to it as The Real World. Nowadays there are a million shows to choose from depending on your taste. But as I have stated before Reality TV is here to stay. And Reality TV obsession is here to stay as well.
But why is that?
For most people it’s an escape from their own boring lives. I mean honestly, when you think about the kind of people that star on those shows could you imagine having them in your life? You wouldn’t be able to do anything without someone telling all your business. I have always been taught that true friendships are marked by the ability to keep your mouth shut whenever someone tells you something in confidence. If you’re agreeing with them that you’ll remain quiet and then calling everyone you know to gossip about them after they’ve left then one of two things needs to happen next:
1) You need your ass kicked
2) You need your ass kicked
Thankfully, that’s what happens on Reality TV. What was once a fun premise of watching how diverse strangers would interact with one another has now turned into ‘How much drama can we fit into 60 minutes of complete bullshit and fuckery?’
And I can’t front, because I still watch Reality TV. One of my favorite shows is Big Brother and this last season did not disappoint in the least.
I’ll give you a brief recap:
And the winner was one of the stupid bitches.
What I learned from my time with this season of Big Brother is that watching other “real” people on TV is intoxicating. It could be because we know that the drama that they go through isn’t scripted (allegedly, because the verdict is still out on that). They seem to be portraying themselves and traditionally we are programmed to gravitate towards characters that we love on TV.
But the reality (pun intended) is that these people aren’t characters. They are representing themselves to the best of their ability and they don’t care that there are cameras on them because they will not compromise who they are for anyone. Which is why during the first season of any Reality TV show we fall in love with their personality. During the second season their personality becomes a bit more pronounced. By the third and fourth seasons they’re caricatures of themselves and from that point on they have allowed The Fame to gobble them up into believing their own hype.
But that’s not their fault though. As the saying goes, Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. And fame is powerful because it’s crack for Attention Whores.
Still, society makes these people popular. And I believe that part of our obsession comes from the idea that these people are just like you and I. They were plucked from obscurity and now they’re on our TV screens. It makes us wonder if we could also be so lucky as to get our own TV show.
A few years ago I dated this guy who wanted to be famous so bad that he shared with me his plans of having his own Reality TV show and starring in a Tyler Perry movie. I pray he gets there but he’ll have to compete with a multitude of other people who want that fame just as much as him, if not more.
That’s also another sign of the times we live in. Back in 1992 there was a small enclave of individuals who saw The Real World and thought to themselves ‘That looks interesting. I want to try that’.
In 2013 that enclave has turned into a heavily populated city of people that want the fame now by any means necessary, and Reality TV is an entry-level means of becoming the next Flavor of the Month.
Because let me reassure you, Reality TV fame is selective and short lived. It will chew you like a piece of 99 cent gum and spit you out on the curb to be walked over by people who won’t even recognize you anymore. The consumers of Reality TV, the audience, are cannibalistic and dismissive.
Once we’re done with you, we’re done.
Kinda sad huh?
Well here’s some more Aaron to ease the pain.
This last one’s just for you Van.