Friday, October 1, 2010

Reality TV - too tame by half.

As we know, you can pretty much get a reality TV show these days for picking your nose in public. My attention was drawn this week to "Raising Sextuplets". A seemingly normal (but obviously narcissitic) couple, have sextuplets, and are now in the obligatory throes of separation.

Now, only having three kids, I can't imagine what it must be like raising six, especially when they're all the same age, but a reality show? I mean, we've had "John and Kate plus Eight" and the one about the Duggers who I think, have reached the 20 milestone. So my immediate reaction to "Raising Sextuplets"  was "Only six kids? What's so special about that?"

And then it hit me. Nothing. There's nothing special about reality TV anymore. Given that it's called reality TV, we shouldn't be expecting too much, but even when it's real people, there's usually something a little extraordinary about them. Like the normal couples in Wife Swap for example - all barking mad and very compelling TV viewing. Voici -

A reality show about a real estate agent sounds a bit erm, mind-numbingly dull, until you learn that the "star" Jeff Lewis, is a bloody nut case, treats his staff appalingly, and has had so much work done that he looks like a cartoon character. That would be Flipping Out. (The title is a play on the American phrase (flipping) for buying houses, refurbishing them and selling them on as quickly as you can.)

Similarly, a reality TV show about a golfer sounds like a right yawn until you learn that it's the colourful John Daly. Being John Daly follows the talented and troubled golfer as he struggles to get his life back on track. Now that's more like it.

So come on reality stars, give us a bit of eccentricity - and by that I don't mean the bitching and whining we see on the "Real Housewives". I want full-blown melt-downs where you're carried off in a straight jacket, wannabee stars who have no grip on reality and kids that have one foot in reform school.

Otherwise I may have to come over there and do it myself.



  1. I miss the days of creative TV producers who didn't realy on reality TV for viewers. I'd rather watch a sit com about real people like Rosanne, than I would watch the real people. Reality is dull, you're right. And depressing. Sitcom writers know where to put in a few laughs. At least there's still the Simpsons...

  2. I have to disagree with you on this, expat mum. I really dislike reality shows, unless they are along the lines of Have I Got News for You or Just a Minute. All those reality stars, whether chefs, moms, other ordinary people, seem so pathetic.

  3. Reality TV has basically become a freak show, hasn't it. And it all seems so staged; there's really nothing 'real' about it at all. Most of it is just boring and in the lowest possible taste.

    (Although I have to admit to being weirdly fascinated by the two episodes I've seen of the Real Housewives of DC. Have you seen that British woman who acts like Joanna Lumley in Ab Fab?)

  4. Ironically last night on Channel 4 there was a very funny documentary about those doyennes of boob-tweaking Trinny and Susannah.
    Pure fluke that I turned the TV on, even more so that I actually watched it (since I cannot abide either of them, reality TV far less).

    Anyway - it was priceless. A true 'take the piss' mockumentary. You didn't know whether it was for real or if they were just sending up their own personas.

    A combination of both I think, but hats off to them, it was very good. And I now see them in a whole new light (which was probably the whole aim of the show in the first place).

    Not sure if you can see it in the States, but link is here:

    LCM x

  5. Truth be told, I watch very little TV so this post is "Blogetic licence" really.

    LCM - I saw the pilot thing on their web site a few months ago and now that Channel 4 have bought it, I probably won't be able to get the rest. They are really sending themselves up and I love it!

  6. My fave new reality TV show is Are You Fitter Than A Pensioner which pits young Britons against the older set. I think British TV is kicking America's arse now in the OTT department.

  7. My fave new reality TV show is Are You Fitter Than A Pensioner which pits young Britons against the older set. I think British TV is kicking America's arse now in the OTT department.

  8. I really like your blog and i respect your work. I’ll be a frequent visitor.

  9. I must admit to being a bit hooked on reality TV. Only it is seldom really real..... if you know what I mean.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  10. I'm addicted to Survivor, The Apprentice, The Amazing Race and slightly less so to DWTS, tho' I think this could be my last season after Michael Bolton and David Hasselhoff. yeuch. My all time fave was The Osbournes tho'. I really need to get out more.

  11. I miss Survivor, The Amazing Race and Jeff Lewis so much it hurts. Teh rest of it I don't really care for. I haven't delved into British reality yet - I'm trying to stay away from it.


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