Post Jun. 27
I’ll shamelessly admit that I’ve been a longtime fan of reality television. I religiously tuned in to the Real World, the Real Housewives, The Bachelor (and of course, The Bachelorette - it’s not like you can watch one without watching the other), and TLC’s resident screaming Italian baker, Cake Boss. Before I knew it, I was a reality junkie.
That is, until recently.
It seems these days that almost anyone, regardless of their profession, social status, or location, can sign a contract and star in their very own reality show. Cue Mob Wives, the Little Couple, Teen Mom, Hoarding: Buried Alive, and of course the kids everyone loves to hate, the Jersey Shore. I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of at least watching a few episodes of every show, but lately it’s just gotten to be a little too ridiculous. I’ve begun to turn off and tune out “reality”.
Real Housewives of Orange County, New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Beverly Hills – I just can’t keep up! Cupcake Wars, DC Cupcakes, Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss – which one do I watch? Regardless of the season, the baked goods, or the location, it’s all the same. When there are four shows about cupcakes, the original, unique idea for a reality show on a bakery is lost, and all four become generic and strikingly similar.
Not only are different networks producing what seems like the same over-the-top show about hoarders and housewives, but the episodes themselves are losing their appeal. I find myself less inclined to tune into a reality show, because they’re becoming more seemingly scripted, and in turn, boring. Jersey Shore did hold my interest for a while until it focused on all the housemates in (what appeared to be) the same arguments week after week. Rather than entertaining, the episodes became headache inducing, and the show began to lose its originality.
All these shows exist and must find a way to survive in the harsh and competitive world of reality television, so the more over the top they become, the more viewers the networks hope to attract. And although someone out there may want to watch the disaster that ensues when a wedding cake falls off a truck, or when two housewives have a fist fight at a baptism, I’m left to wonder, are there any reality shows out there worth watching anymore? For now, I’ll just have to tune into Glee instead.