The Backwards Little Town of Reality TV


            In this article I will utilize a variety of pre-conspired strategies in order to manipulate your thoughts and forever alter your opinions of good television. Don’t be too worried though, what with all that Reality TV you’ve been watching, these feelings should come naturally to you.

            Reality TV used to be a scary, backwards little town in TV World that was shunned and laughed at by the rest the TV World’s inhabitants. Reality Town scarcely compared to the lush, rolling landscape of Sit-Com Valley. But now something awful has happened. That little town has grown exponentially, morphed into an enormous cancerous mass, fuelled by an engine that feeds off the brains of the innocent and naïve. This terrible place is populated by the brattiest, spoiled teens, tattered, skinny pe        ople stranded on islands, tight-faced have-beens and the ghoulishly hideous. This is a place that should be avoided at all costs.

            It is like a colloidal mass of grease and infectious bacteria that has been known to smudge its grimy self onto your TV screen and proceed to invade your retinas. In some cases there are lasting and long-term effects. The immediate symptoms of a Reality TV infection may include:

            • Trouble understanding simple concepts

            • Slurred or incoherent speech

            • The shrill cries of your brain cells pleading for their lives.

You can protect yourself and your loved ones from these dangers during a Reality TV attack by taking these simple steps.

1.      Pick up your remote control

2.      Cock your arm outward from your body at a 70 degree angle.

3.      Project remote control device into eye socket to ensure optimum blindness.

4.      Repeat steps 1 through 3 on adjacent eye.

A parallel can be drawn between the producers who fabricate the scripts for these “unscripted” programs and the finest fry-cooks at Mickey-D’s. The only difference is they clutch the keys to their Bentley’s rather than rusty spatulas. A writer creating casting lists, a target audience and plot-lines that comprise Reality TV shows can be equated with a food chemist choosing a sumptuous blend of titillating flavours that comprise America’s favourite burger. Mmm.


Figure 1. The Cheeseburger Theory:

Big Mac  =   Reality TV

Gut               Brain


Let us further delve into the far-cries and fallacies of the misnomer, “reality” television. The idea of television that projects reality is oxymoronic. Or maybe just moronic. What is being spoon-fed to us as legitimate is ultimately a falsehood. The format, day-to-day activities, environment, and story line of your favourite reality TV show are designed by producers to mimic a world free of, or addled with, imperfections. The producers of a show with a title that forces cackles of disbelief from my mouth each time it bounces off my ear drums, ‘The Real World’, have admitted most decorously that the show is not real. That they specifically select the participants, and use carefully designed scenarios, events and settings to “encourage” certain behaviours and conflicts.

Mark Burnett, creator of ‘Survivor’ and other reality TV shows was quoted saying, “I tell good stories. It really is not reality TV,” to describe his brand of television. But wait! When “reality” straight off the page isn’t enough, producers and directors manipulate footage to completely re-mould a scene or make it appear as though participants are doing something they’re not.

If you allow yourself to sit, slack-jawed in front of your television set and accept a compilation of lies as a representation of truth, you might as well take a nap on a nuclear reactor and have your brain melt out of your ears.

Now onto the dim-witted, shallow-minded and those not properly informed. These are the weak patches in our quilt that are adversely affected by the contrived drivel being spewed into our eyes. It is an orchestra of unethical melodies and a chorus of false-ideals, culminating a in a crescendo of stupidity. All this eloquently played by acclaimed musicians like A-list inmate, Paris Hilton and conducted by the most trustworthy producers on the bill. The audience is you, your pals, your children and even that obnoxious guy in the next office. These are the people exposed to the not-so-upstanding examples set forth by Reality TV.

There unfortunately are a vast plethora of mucky things coagulated into the core of what we call Reality TV that, putting it simply, we could do without. Things that shouldn’t so much as lurk, let along be prevalent in our brand of pop-culture. We have a colourful jubilee of things on our plates, so why do we continue to reach for that side of smut?