In the middle of watching a very well acted and moving version of Steel Magnolias, I was startled by a disturbing commercial for a new reality show. The Houstons: On Our Own.
Apparently Whitney Houston’s family, including her nineteen year old daughter, thought it best to mourn her loss and celebrate her life by making a lot of money letting cameras follow them around all day.
I am not above watching HGTV’s Design Star and I’ve even sat through an episode or two of Dancing with the Stars, but I am quite offended by these series that create and follow faux celebrities through every bad decision and temper tantrum.
The Kardashians, those Jersey Shore people, real housewives, maniac dance teachers, people with too many kids and not enough brains. Give it a break already.
Do these shows make people feel better about themselves? Do viewers sit at home in their Barcalounger and think, “Well, I can’t pay my rent but at least I don’t have nineteen kids.”
Besides the appalling behavior displayed, for which no one should be rewarded, and the mental decay these shows surely cause the audience, there’s the fact that reality television puts real artists, actors, technicians, writers, people with actual talent and skills, out of work.
Why bother incurring the expense of producing a show with trained actors when you can pay any idiot off the street to be themselves and people will watch it?
There are few quality programs on TV and there are fewer every year. I worry that soon all we’ll have are these reality train wrecks.
Thank God for books.