Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WTF PEOPLE!?! Reality TV

Now I know what you're thinking before I get to this, two WTF PEOPLE!?!'s in a row?!? That's just crazy... It's only supposed to be an occasional event. But hey, it's my blog, I'll so what whatever I want with it.  But for now, on the with the "What-Tha..."

I am just stupefied on the crap that is on television nowadays. There just seem to be an influx of unscripted fecal matter that is being shoveled out by the metric ton. It's rediculous on what is out there. Now I'll have my piece on each genre one at a time, but for right now reality tv really burns my ass with how craptacular it is. And the damnedest thing is that there's subgenres out there full of it. How can reality have a spawn?!? I originally thought of it being it's either real, fake, or the news (hell I can't even distinguish that anymore now, but that's another post). But I'll try my damnedest to figure this out. Let's just get this over and done with with our sanity in check. 

Honestly, I blame the writers strike of 2007 for this calamity. At least for the majority of what's out being aired right now. But in reality (get it *lame joke*) they've been around for as long as I can remember. Let's start with one of the longest running forms, the documentary-style show. It's designed as quick lfittle run-offs to show the uninterrupted daily life of their subject. An excellent example of that would be COPS and to lesser extents The Real World. It profiled their interaction with either the general public or in their own lives among their peers or other acquaintances. Nowadays we have Jersey Shore where we look at how to be douchebags and stereotypes to everyone (thank you MTV for keep pushing out more self-centered useless crap 24/7). An great concept and in my opinion the closest attempt to bring out the essence of what a reality show should be. Granted The Real World is just about as real as everything curvy on Pamela Anderson, and COPS is a guide for "what not to do to avoid getting caught with meth", but at least they try and originated such for others to break ground and fail like it's going out of style. 

Such atrocities as much as I hate to admit that is a guilty pleasure of mine are the reality-gameshow hybrids. Toying with my love and addiction to game shows (I'm a Jeopardy! and all around quiz/trivia show junkie; but that's another post) it amalgams the two into a match made in WTF-ville. Usually elimination based and designed for a single person or a pair to win an epic grand prize worth at least six-figures. It usually consists of multiple trials of either living or working with and against each other while the periodic secluded rant of the *contestant of the recorded event takes the audience in a third-to-first person view of what happened. Eventually there are departures of weak links and spoils for those who did well during as well as in the end of the season. What do we get out of all of this? Not much more outside of the expectation of a bloopers special before the season finale at best. As a game show aspect it's pretty lame and not much more than that in a reality tv perspective. But like I said, it's a guilty pleasure. 

But for reality shows that really bite the big one, there's the extreme reality. Shows that take a casual nuance of daily life, and find someone or a family that takes it to a gargantuan sized exposition. Extreme hoarding, extreme couponing, extreme green living, extreme bitching about how their life isn't posh enough. To me it's all extreme ass-sucking for the most part. Now that's not to say that all of them blow. I appreciate watching "19 Kids and Counting" (or however many Jim Bob and Michelle will stop at) and occasionally reruns of "Jon and Kate plus Eight" with the wifie to see how not to be a douchebag of a father and husband. But for some of the good ones out there, there's at least a bakers dozen of craptastic ones to air. Really, I don't need to see the most extreme babysitter tell me I'm a bad parent, I already know I am (j/k). Why do we need to have the most extreme or the maximum of anything and everything? What good does it accomplish outside of showing how gluttonous they are and how fascinated we can be to see if we all let out our inner OCD persona for one thing what we can become. Really people, you all need to find a happy medium before you get to extreme defecation throwers or extreme hobos. Actually, extreme hobos would be good; not Bum Fights good, but still good. 

Now to a brain fart of a sub-genre. What I like to call the modern day docuality. To borrow from Linkara; but here what I call the Atop-the-4th-Wall reality shows. It's more or less if big brother took a sedative and not interfered with life, it's captured on film, and we all laugh at the mishaps. A classic example would be America's Funniest Videos or Dick Clark's and Ed McMahon's Bloopers to TruTv's Worlds Dumbest for a more recent take. They're the watchers and poke-funners of the common people. Probably the closest to reality that reality television can be, since its truly unscripted and random stuff. Usually it's pretty stupid but that's what entertain us. Like reality tv isn't stupid enough, right?!?

Well, that's my synopsis on reality television. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that I might've missed something (just now thinking of where does Mythbusters fall into the mix; dammit). But this was general state of calamity this is being shoveled into our screens like manure on a bed of roses. So tune in for more tv related WTF's and watch me tear them a new one if they deserve it. And for the record, most of the stuff on TV does deserve it. 

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

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