Where’s YOUR show?

Reality TV is like saying expert parent, intelligent bigot, sleepy meth-head, honest politician, sober alcoholic. The two words don’t seem to belong together. Ok, maybe the last example might be out of place there. But alcoholics can get sober, not de-alcoholicked. Back to the television. WTF is with DWTS and all of these other inane attempts to distract us from the lives we are not living? Marketing is the backbone of all things television. What are we buying? First thought wrong: time (someone else’s). The reason that reality programs are attractive to network producers is that these shows are cheaper… to buy, to sell, to film. But cheap also travels all the way through the screen into the viewers home. I was going to say into the living room but if you watch reality TV, you aren’t really living. You’re coasting. You are posing. You are impersonating a REAL person. You have also cheapened your already meager existence by sitting down, settling and observing, not participating. Question: how much of your life do you spend watching other people live theirs? I’m not judgin’, I’m just sayin’. It borders on criminal if you can say you watch Kate Plus 8, Intervention (whorable) and Jerseylicious in the same week. It’s too bad we don’t have to apply for a license to operate a television set. I know folks that would be guilty of wreckless viewing. Or WUI: Witnessing Useless Information. Let’s say you’ve seen “The Biggest Loser”. No problem. If you record it and watch it later, the biggest loser is you. If you watch “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” we’ve pretty much answered that question too.

Pawn shops, parking tickets, car parts, nail salons, airline counters, logging, trucking, cooking, celebrities (real or imagined) trying to become apprentices and drunken teens on the beach are all subjects of reality shows. The reality here is that we are losing all sense of ourselves and are in danger of programming our children toward lack of identity, zero self esteem and the temptation to compete with individuals who are so self absorbed they become more invisible the more we watch them. Quote from a New Jersey salon she-pig: (sobbing) “My nails are my identity! Look at these! My nails are WHO… I… AM!!” Her boss told her to cut her nails or lose her job. She quit. Reality? Not mine. I like my nails, but I love my work. How about you?

Come on people! Turn off, tune out and wake up!! Reality is about being present: shift, change, growth, maturity, evolution. Whatever word you choose to describe your process of moving forward. Where have you been lately? Out there making a difference or watching TV? Are you seeing or being?
Are there folks out there who are paying it sideways?

I’ve never seen an entire episode of American Idol. But I’ve met Paula Abdul. Holy Shitake Mushroom! What a mess! “Judge” was a strange title to assign her. I’ve also worked with Dr. Drew. Seems like a sensitive, intelligent man. I wish he had more say about creative control for “Celebrity Rehab.” It might be a better vehicle for moving addicts and families forward. The other powers that be use his facility, his name and his image. The true producers are responsible for editing, content and story line for that impotent excuse for a healing, educational show. Dr. Drew had a good idea and wasted another opportunity to help focus the rest of us on the realities of addiction. Dr. Drew a blank. I’d rather watch reruns of the Deadliest Catch.

The only true reality TV program is a documentary. A candid, honest look at neighbors, prisons, politics, students, war, religion, racism, etc. When was the last time you watched something truly inspirational? Hint: go look in the mirror. All the motivation you need is looking right back atcha! The reality is that you are the only show worth watching. I’d love to see your show. Come see mine if you get the time. It’s very… real.

So what’s really going on? Define real for yourself and you are no longer at risk of being talked or tricked into believing what reality is. Here’s an idea. Instead of watching that favorite reality show, do some sit-ups. Play with your kids. Write a letter. Call a friend. Read a book. Watch the history channel. Talk to your spouse. Meditate. Make love. Be real! Otherwise, (and you heard it here first), someday you will see the reality show where people sit at home watching people on TV sitting at home watching people on TV. Welcome to “Couch Potato”! Tuesdays at 8PM on TLC.

Turning it off,
Mark L.

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