Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Brush With Reality

PJ coined the phrase "Brushes with Reality" today, and I love it. People like me become so obsessed by Hollywood and celebrities that once in a while we forget about "real" people and "real" life. Every so often we need a brush with reality for a change.
That being said- I do love reality TV. I have for years. I know it's a trend. I know that many people hope it's a trend that will end soon, like variety shows of the 70's. Although, I used to be a huge fan of the variety show format: Carol Burnett, Sonny & Cher, Cher (alone), the Mandrell sister's, Tony Orlando & Dawn, etc. Every celebrity had their own variety show in the 70's.
In the 80's, the variety shows gave way to talk shows: Oprah, Ricki Lake, Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Sally Jesse Raphael, etc. If you were a celebrity, you automatically got your own talk show.
The 90's saw most of these talk shows fade way into non-existence, and we got our first tastes of Reality TV with shows like Cops and Judge Judy. The "Judge" shows began to flurish, and most of them still exist today: Judge Joe Brown, Judge Hatchett, Texas Justice, Judge Mabeline, and of course Judge Judy (my favorite). After the viewing public got this taste of reality, the networks offered us more.
We soon got to see shows like "The Real World" (7 strangers picked to live in a house and see what happens via live video feed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), "Big Brother" came along next-- same premise except it was more of a game than a documentary-- strangers living together that got to scheme amongst themselves and vote off one member each week. Soon we got "Survivor"- pretty much the same thing, but set on deserted islands, where the contestants not only schemed against each other, but they had to do it while not bathing or eating for months at a time. Along came "American Idol" and we got to vote off our least favorite singers each weekby calling into a 1-800 number. Soon we were flooded with Reality shows: "The Amazing Race", "Fear Factor", "Joe Millionaire" and of course, "The Bachealor" and the "Bachealorette".
I am the first to admit that it's gone too far- who wants to follow Ozzy Osbourne's life 24/7? Who cares that Michael Knight (formerly Peter Brady on "The Brady Bunch") is having a hard time deciding if he should get engaged on "My Fair Brady"?
Andy Warhol once said that we would each get our 15 minutes of fame. I think he is right. The reality show that I'd like to see is a follow up on all of the contestants that appeared on reality shows and how it effected their lives after the cameras stopped turning. That would be some good TV!
OK, gotta run-- "Dancing with the Stars" is having a 2 hour premiere tonight and I wouldn't want to miss that!


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