View Mobile Site

The reality of reality TV isn’t as real as advertised

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED April 22, 2009 4:02 a.m.
While the culinary artists behind the scenes at Taqueria were preparing my carne asada tacos, which I have become dependent on but not quite addicted to, my buddy and I shook our heads at the “reality” TV show that provided ambiance.

No one was watching, except for us, and that was definitely a good thing.

The mom walked into the room, one daughter started yelling, the mom started crying. One of the daughters started crying because her mom was crying and all of us viewers are supposed to think this is, like, real because she was emotional, and came in all trying to be nice, but like, that one girl was hecka rude, so her mom, like, started all crying. And stuff.

Makeup and eye shadow were e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

Is that really what my students think reality is, or should be like? Does The Bachelor encompass loving courtship? Booze, hot tubs and elegant dinners in a palace?

If that’s the case, there’s no way I’m getting married. I’ve got none of those things at my barn out in the country and my favorite shoes are either Xtra-Tuff rubber boots, or $20 New Balance kick-arounds.

I used to want to be on Survivor because I thought it was about surviving. False, it’s a game, a manipulation played out by a collection of people cast to cause problems.

The Alaska Experiment looks like my middle school field trips, well, kinda. They have cooler gear and cry more.

For the last week, the Deadliest Catch has advertised excitement. The preview does not say the word, but our culture is very good at inferring such things. The last seconds of the promo states a storm will be too much for one boat. Good episode, right?

The reality is that the characters in the show are people in life. As we watch and wonder, we get to anxiously await the outcome a family has already endured. I enjoy those two shows, being I am familiar with the actual reality, not the production, but am still part of the problem.

I participate in the fan base that creates ratings for the reality TV monster that infiltrates all channels and ways of life.   

Friday night, as the collective culture swam through re-runs of professional drama addicts, the crew of the Seafarer, the fishing boat my buddies ran last summer, sank. The old wooden seiner had a new crew, all of which survived.

It jarred me from my comfortable life on my recliner, and forced me away from what TV wants me to think is real.

The reality is, now that college basketball and Alaska Week are over, why would I want to sit in front of a mind-numbing box when I can go out and catch fish myself?

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail aklund21@gmail.com.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...