Let’s Put the ‘Reality’ Back in Reality TV

'In the years since reality TV became the dominant force on the airwaves, flipping through the channels has been an exercise in trying to avoid celebutantes searching for their new bling, Bentleys, and BFFs.

The pervasiveness of shows that celebrate the lifestyles of the rich and useless has left me avoiding the Zoom-whitened smiles of the over-privileged in much the same way I race to press “1” for English before I have to hear “para espanol” on voice menus. But with the Dow going up and down, then down some more 00 the bad news on the stock market could spell relief for me and anyone exhausted by “excess” TV. I predict more shows about former moguls who will have to adjust to life as regular people. It could be as heart wrenching as the video diary entry Sean P. “Diddy” Combs posted during the gas crisis, begging his Arab “brothers” to lower the cost of oil so he could once again use his private jet. I was so touched. In fact, I thought about suggesting an “Adopt-a-Diddy” program at local schools. “Please kids. Forget about saving those pennies for your college education. Diddy is having to fly commercial!”

Call me a sadist or the ultimate optimist, but I am thankful there’s finally an upside to the downturn: maybe reality TV will actually have to earn its name and reflect a little — I don’t know — reality'.

- Patricia Beauchamp, 'Let’s Put the ‘Reality’ Back in Reality TV'.


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