n pl -ties
1. the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be
2. something that is real
3. the state of being real
4. (Philosophy) Philosophy
a. that which exists, independent of human awareness
in reality actually; in fact
I have never watched a so-called ‘reality’ TV show and I believe that leaves me in a pretty good position to judge them and what they offer.
I recall once watching a National Geographic feature that focused on a young American woman who trekked across the Australian outback on camel. Lots of rigors she had to undergo on her sojourn.
All alone in the outback. Not so fair dinkum. Wait, thought I, she wasn’t ‘alone’ alone. There was obviously somebody accompanying her and filming the thing.
And what happened there is precisely what takes place on tropical islands where icky people power-trip and abuse others, while other icky people have diarrhea and other bits of disagreeability, and also attempt to seduce people who seem ‘seducable’, and are forced to eat disgusting crap in the name of attracting viewership and sympathy amongst those you follow this crud. And a camera crew is always in attendance.
Other programs focus on the vilest and sluttiest females imaginable; the sorts of people you hope never-ever book a motel room next to yours. People who are flagrant exhibitionists, though you might not want to look if you have a modicum of taste; people who abuse alcohol; who are promiscuous; who have quaint bladder control issues and so forth. If that is ‘reality’ then I want an alternate universe.
Some ‘pretend’ to be about society doyens of dubious mien like ‘Slutbunnies of Seattle’, or somesuch. Others just get down-and-dirty with the absolutely worst and dumbest sorts of people from the backwoods. You know, people we, who are ‘superior’ are meant to mock.
Some ‘reality’ shows actually focus on ‘entertainment’ and trot people out to sing and then be judged by ‘judges’ of questionable judging qualifications who happen to score high on abuse, but low on empathy. Agreed that some of these contestants have been proved worthy and have continued as vocalists, whereas others wouldn’t have made the cut on the old Gong Show.
I can only attest that I am not drawn to these shows. Never have been. Life is challenging enough without being immersed in somebody else’s ‘reality’, as tacky as it might be.
But (this just in), with further consideration I realize am a bit of a fraud in being high-and-mighty about reality shows. There is one sort I am drawn to, and that is the genre that involves the apprehension of bad people. I am, I confess, a sucker for Cops “Bad boys, bad boys!” Maybe it’s because I used to cover the police beat for a newspaper, and also because I covered the courts.
Morbidly (I guess) I love this kind of stuff. I take a perverse pleasure in seeing life’s fuckups get taken down and taken in. Makes me feel better about myself I may mess up at times, but not like these people. And I hope I’m a better liar than most of them are.
Otherwise, however, I’m content to stick with Big Bang Theory, NCIS and Downton Abbey. Oh, and Jeopardy, of course. I guess in its own way it’s sort of a reality show.