Reality TV? Get Real!


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Reality TV? Get Real!

Like everyone else, I find it hard to avoid the relentless onslaught of media surrounding all of todayís "reality tv". Whether you turn on the television, pick up a paper, go online or stand at the water cooler, you are going to hear about any number of these programs.

Who will incur Simonís wrath on American Idol? Which studly spit swapper will win the heart of The Bachelorette? Are your thighs hot enough to pass the scrutiny of Lorenzo Lamas and his laser pointer? Can you overcome your personal Fear Factor and be buried beneath writhing snakes? And will Joe Millionaire become Joe 500,000aire if Zora goes her separate way?

Ever since Survivor first taught us to form an alliance and added the term "voted off the island" to our vernacular, we video voyeurs have been fed a steady diet of greed, sloth, avarice, cunning, deceit and romance.

Oh, and thanks to Fear Factor, generous helpings of cow udder and horse rectum.

Will someone please tell me, just whose reality is being represented here!?!

Letís start with the whole Bachelor/Bachelorette concept. I dated a lot, but I can honestly say that when finally pursuing "true love", I was not looking for it in a hot tub. It seems that a date simply isnít a date on these shows unless the participants are sitting in a soup of their own juices, swapping spit full speed ahead. And it is highly amusing to me how shocked and upset the public becomes when these supposed matches fall apart within 90 days of the cameras being turned off. There is something to be said for sticking to the age old pattern of Meet-Date-Get to Know Each Other-Propose.

And now Survivor is in the Amazon pitting men against women. I will give them this much, there is a reason for the real world term "itís a jungle out there". Navigating real life - car pools, bill paying, bad economy, kids, schedules - is pretty precarious these days, and I can honestly say that if my husband hangs one more pair of his underwear on a doorknob, the tribal council (ME) will vote him off this island.

As to the reality of shows like American Idol and Am I Hot?, I think they are so popular because in real life , none of us has the spine to say the things these judges blurt right out. Given Simonís gift for gab, you just might hear me saying the things I am thinking in the grocery store like, "You, Tubby!  BACK AWAY FROM THE TWINKIES" or "Oh come on! Get rid of the checkbook and get with the Millennium lady. DEBIT CARD!!!" Or while waiting in the post office line, "Now hear this, I do not care how many tacos you ate for dinner last night, STOP FARTING AROUND ALL THESE PEOPLE!"

And may I just say, in regard to the judges on Am I Hot?, NO, YOU ARE NOT. Sitting in judgment on these contestants is Rachel Hunter, a model who has not seen the word "super" in a decade, Lorenzo Lamas who has not had a career since Falcon Crest in the 80's and who scores a lukewarm at best, and a designer whom I have never heard of (and believe me, I read the Star, People and US Weekly - I know my Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Versace.). Hmm, maybe I am learning something from Simon after all?

Then there is Fear Factor, NBCís gut twisting, gut eating weekly reality show. I donít know about you, but in my everyday reality, you will not find me suspended high above the city walking a balance beam, reclining in an acrylic coffin filled with snakes, spiders or assorted larvae, or eating from a buffet table containing eyeballs, scrotums or . . . said assorted larvae. And I can tell you right now, $50,000 is not enough money to get even one maggot anywhere near my cutlery, let alone near my tongue.

Joe Millionaire, Big Brother, The Mole, Dog Eat Dog, The Real World, The Surreal Life, Married By America, the list goes one and on and will continue to grow, a sad reflection of what passes for entertainment these days. As a society, it would appear our morals have loosened and our appetite for "shock" has grown. Sodom and Gomorrah has come to TV and we sit hypnotized by the tube like brainless pillars of salt.

Youíll have to excuse me now. The grocery store is having a special on horse rectum and from what I hear, it "tastes like chicken".

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