Is Reality TV Done?

I’m having a lazy night on the couch and watching a lot of television and there is nothing on. Why I’m still watching, I’m not sure why. I have a couple of good books, but aside from reading some blogs, I just want to sit and digest my dinner. In my food coma, I’m asking myself is reality TV done?

I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a fan of reality TV. Perhaps it’s because it was good at one point, but maybe because watching and commenting on “The Hills” created a great deal of conversation with my ex-girlfriend, I still can’t see Spencer and not think about her.

But aside from a couple of shows that have graced the tube, there isn’t any good reality TV on these days. So the Osbornes started the trend of following the celebrities and their family around and it turned Sharon and Ozzy’s kids into celebrities. Then came that show with Jessica Simpson and her husband. One had a career that was just about over and the other never really had a career, but putting a camera in their house was like career CPR. It brought them back to life. It turned Simpson into a huge celebrity for like 3 years and now she’s the cursed girlfriend of the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. After semi celebrities saw that having a camera follow you around could lead to a job, everyone was doing it. It got to the point where I’m surprised that the dictionary didn’t sue VH1 for misuse of the word celebrity in their show “Celebrity Fit Club.” I’ve been on TV, that doesn’t make me a celebrity.

On television when a show works other replicate it. Seinfeld becomes a hit on NBC and every network, including NBC, gives every comic at the laugh factory on Sunset Blvd a sitcom. “The West Wing” lead to some show about the Supreme Court on CBS. Don’t believe me, look it up.

Reality TV is no different. “The Apprentice” had “The Benefactor”, “American Idol” has “America’s Got Talent” “Country Music Star” I don’t think I have time to name off all talent contest shows featuring three judges, two of whom are really nice and one that is really rude. But I can say that they officially went to far when the made competitions about stage moms and their kids and one about people and their dogs. I just saw an ad with Vivica A. Fox and a bunch of want to be designers that get voted off each week. Sound familiar? Rock of Love is just a rip off of Flavor of Love with a washed-up rocker instead of a rapper.

It was bad enough when Monica Lewensky was tapped to do a show, but at least she was the most famous person in America for a while. These days, you dig someone up from “Saved by the Bell” and make people dance and you’ve got a show. I’d watch a show with Lindsay Lohan. I’d tune in EVERY week to watch it. Gay or straight, on drugs or sober, I don’t care, her life looks like it would be fun to tag along with. But a show with her mom and her little sister…what? And who are the Kardashians?

There are so many reality shows that there are too many reality show re-cap shows. I love E!’s “The Soup.” I loved it when it was “Talk Soup” and still love it. But E! sister network Style has a show called “The Dish.” it might just be called “Dish” but either way it’s Topenga from “Boy Meets World” making fun of reality show clips but in this case, these are reality show clips that skew towards women. I bet that pitch meeting went well. “Picture it, ‘The Soup’ meets ‘Perez Hilton.'” Brilliant. Not to be outdone, Yahoo! replaced “The 9” a recap show of clips from the Internet with “Primetime in no Time” a clip show about reality TV.

I have to admit, when I was a kid, I was a huge Hulkamanic. I had the tapes and the workout kit. I’d do everything I could to stay awake to watch the occasional Saturday night wrestling which preempted “Saturday Night Live.” So even though I’m much older now, I did watch the Hogan reality show. But that show ran its course and it was over. Ok, that was fun. But someone thought it would be good to give Hogan’s daughter her own show about living in an apartment. Aside from being mean to a guy with an accent and setting feminism back 100 years by saying women shouldn’t be president because they are moody, there’s nothing going on with this show aside from her dad coincidental showing up where ever she is. Why is it on television?

That’s the other thing about reality TV. The people are always getting into the oddest situations and doing the craizest things. They say things like, “I’ve arranged for us to go…” and the zainest ensues. There is a genre of made up situations, it’s called the situation comedy. These situations are things that don’t happen in reality. Of course not, because even for “celebrities” everyday life is everyday life and as we learned from shows like the Denise Richards show, we can’t be apart of the good stuff.

Now please excuse me as I go watch wait for “Rock of Love 3” and “The Cho Show” or as I like to think of it, the new “My Life on the D-List.”

But seriously, I like reality TV, but the golden days are far behind us. “The Apprentice”  jumped the shark long ago. Is “Survivor” still on? Give me something good to watch and I’ll tune in.  After all, I’m having a lazy night on the couch.


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