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The Lost Art of Subtlety on Reality Television

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I’ve never been shy about the fact that reality television serves as one of my greatest vices. In a recent blog post, In Defense of Reality Television, I lay out the reasons I love this terrible art form. In short, reality television, to me, is all about escape, escape, escape. Although some might find great escape in watching 300-pound men bang their heads together, I’m all about watching botox-filled dames in Beverly Hills do the same. And I defend my choice.

No, I don’t agree with what I see some of these characters do. But, yes, I enjoy it, look forward to it, and relish it.

And no, you don’t have to agree.

That said, I don’t watch everything. Some shows I deem too far below my (admittedly limited) acceptability barrier. One such show is Vanderpump Rules, a show I can say with authority doesn’t float my boat for a variety of clear-as-day reasons. Most important of those being the characters seem entirely void of any true personality, and entirely positioned on the show to move forward their apparently struggling careers in acting, dancing, and modeling. I know this, of course, not because I have heard said criticism, but because I consciously plopped myself in front of said show for a short four-hour marathon.

For research, of course.

Now, at this point you might argue that every reality television star is on his or her show to promote their struggling careers in acting, dancing, and modeling (to say nothing of their liquor companies, books and handbag lines). I grant you the point, but contradict by saying that at least on some of my more favorite reality outlets (Real Housewives of Scranton, say, or Top Barista), at least the self-promotion is more subtle. Subtle enough that even I believe I’m watching real, true (slightly) doctored reality before my very eyes.

Because after all, that is the point, right? To see reality.

Even I have standards.

(I swear.)

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