reality? on tv?

reality shows on tv are taking off like crazy, at least on CBS.

with shows like BigBrother (a huge hit in britain, of all places, and elsewhere in europe, as well as Survivor it looks to me like at least the eyeball network has run out of decent fictional material

which doesn’t surprise me, considering the other networks have had to go running to their own big brothers (or deep pockets, you decide) – disney and microsoft at least – to keep the eyeballs rolling in.

but what about this reality thing? i remember the first couple of seasons of ‘the real world’ on MTV, when it seemed they picked cast members more because they already lived in the target city than any kind of audition process. Remember Puck? in season 3, he became the first roommate actually kicked off the show for being himself.

puck was actually interesting, he had a personality. i would have killed him, had i been forced to live with him, but still, he was at least fun to watch – getting arrested, fucking with the cameramen, pissing off his roommates intentionally. that made for good television. he had no problem picking his nose (or his scabs) in front of others. he was an exhibitionist with no prejudices. or inhibitions. in other words, he was perfect for the part. in other words, he should never have been allowed on the set.

later seasons of the show all blend together to me: each season filled with more of the politically correct, gender- and racially-mixed casts of teenage MTV manufactured Plastic PeopleTM. where was the reality? sure there were fights and confessions, and lots of sex – MTV needs to up the ratings sometimes, too – but, even considering i was the same age as most of these people, even i couldn’t help but wonder if they were raised by wolves, or if they stepped out of a vat and were issued baggy pants and an N’Sync CD on their first day out.

but now, here comes the real world, on network TV and in prime time.

gone are the teeny-boppers with their ten-second attention spans, and gone are the week-long MTV orgy ‘casting specials’. maybe next season we’ll get to see why big brother picked who he picked, and why some of the survivors that ended up on tv probably couldn’t get by in a furnished apartment, let alone a desert island.

i’m running out of steam (i chopped up a tree that fell in my yard this afternoon, and stacked the pieces), so this rant will have to be a two-parter.

next time: why i think i’d kick ass on survivor, and which of the bigbrother roomies i want locked in my house :)

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