Saturday, November 8, 2008

Reality Television

Every time I flip the television channel and run across Cops, I can't help but think of Mr. Bean's grandmother. I never met her as she died before Mr. Bean and I met, but I have been told on numerous occasions that Cops was one of her favorite shows because it was "reality." I wonder what she would have thought about "reality television" in today's terms.

If you have ever had the joyful experience of catching any of VH1's or MTV's reality shows, you'll have to wash your eyes (and ears) afterward. I keep telling myself that these people are paid to act as crazy as they do; there is no way that it is real and if it is...God, help us! If there were ever a case for "home missions" (to borrow a Southern Baptist term), this is it!

Even shows like American Idol or Survivor have such an air of non-reality to them because of the situation in which these people find themselves. They spend the entire course of the show trying to outdo the other contestants for a large sum of money. How is that reality? (And speaking of reality...don't get me started on MTV's The Hills...)

I prefer to watch shows like Jon and Kate plus 8 and Little People Big World (and nearly every other show on TLC in a documentary style). Sure, they admit they get special treatment like free trips and magazine cover shoots because they have a TV show (product placement anyone?). Sure there is a dose of non-reality to these shows, too, but you still see families dealing with homework, sibling rivalry, vacations, illness, and all the other factors that make up "real life".

I wonder what Mr. Bean's grandma would watch and appreciate if she were alive today.


Mr. Bean said...

For what it's worth, she really liked watching the fights in hockey games, too. So, I'm sure she'd still like that today.

Christy said...

I don't care for Little People or Jon and Kate. Sorry! I have enjoyed watching 17 kids and Growing. Reality TV has sunk (or is it sank) to a record low, so I don't watch much anymore. It's getting to the point where I don't even want to surf the TV anymore because of the raunchy images that pass by!

Caryn said...

She probably would not believe how far this country has fallen. She sounds like a very interesting lady! Is this Mr. Beans maternal or paternal grandmother?