We've Got Issues

A pandemic is spreading.  The masses have been sucked into the world of evil couples, brainless goons, narcissistic plebeians and Paris Hilton.  Reality television has taken over and this seems to be a point of no return.

There once was a time where the only popular reality shows were "Cops," "Big Brother," "Survivor," and "Real World."  Now MTV has given birth to Speidi (Spencer and Heidi Pratt) and has replaced the music with an array of "reality" TV.

As if there isn't enough drama in the world, every week audiences wait on the edge of their seat to see Lauren Conrad and Audrina Patridge say, "Like totally; dump him."  How compelling?  The writers of these shows have so much to work with.

Somehow they have managed to create the fourth spin-off to "Laguna Beach." Yes, fourth.  First came "The Hills," then "Whitney," followed by "Bromance," and soon to come, "The Audrina Show."  MTV is no longer known for its music, but rather its reality shows.

If you were a fan of "Laguna Beach," there may be some reason behind it.  It was one of the first few reality shows displaying teens that lived in a far more luxurious way than us.  However, continuing to follow the lives of these people who have made no achievements based on real talent is illogical. 

Not only that, but it can be destructive.  Some may argue that these shows are merely a reflection of what we already are. But this massive loss of moral fiber can quite possibly be attributed to this phenomenon, where reality TV is only one facet.  In sum, isn't there some truth to, "Monkey see, monkey do?"

This is not to place the TV as totally accountable for a person's actions, but to suggest that perhaps they should assume at least some responsibility, especially if a young, still-forming mind is in the audience, as they often are.  In addition, the shows are often reassuring people that it is okay to partake in such commonly portrayed behaviors as cheating, lying, and anything that can be traced back to being an overall inconsiderate and self-indulgent human being. The shows speak poorly of our society by glamorizing all of this.

Essentially, while it is nice to escape the trials and tribulations of our own lives, people have been misguided and now follow the drama of others. And in turn, following this drama feeds into this moral-draining cycle of desensitization to some of these commonly exhibited wrongs. 

And their lives are not very different than our own, despite manipulations by the editors of these "reality" shows. Celebrities are fortunate enough to get into fights with family and friends, shop, eat, club and breathe.  The only difference between us and them is that they don't need to go to work and go to school. They are able to live the same life that you and I do and get paid for it.

Eventually watching people live their lives got boring. This was the cue for VH1 to create a swarm of competition shows.

"Surreal Life" set the trend for reclaiming fame to such infamous celebrities as Flava Flav, Vanilla Ice and Emmanuel Lewis.  The very first season featured not only a D-list cast, but also created the very original "Survivor" themed season. 

If reality shows as are so unoriginal that they must copy other reality shows, what's it to say about a society who is willing to watch the same thing repetitively with a different name?

The days of thought provoking shows are now long gone and have been filled with celebrities desperate for love and attention.  First came "Flavor of Love," then came the spur of New York shows that produced even more unnecessary dramatic love "realities." 

The word reality is overused to the point where people allow themselves to believe that the fight that just occurred on "I Love Money 2" was meant to be.

"Most of what they do is distressingly boring," reality television show writer J. Ryan Stradel said on the website for Writers Guild of America. "Reality writing is about working backwards from the ending in the most interesting way possible."

Similarly, the fascination with obscure oddities like "Jon and Kate Plus 8" can only truly be understood if you too want to have children through in vitro fertilization.  Angelina Jolie look-alike, Nadya Suleman, gained popularity in the same way as Jon and Kate.  The fame attached to the number of children a person can have only endorses the fact that we as people don't have an interest in topics other than the challenges other people face. 

While there are some decent reality shows showcasing talent in singing, dancing, and sewing, there are only so many that can consume your time.

In a dramatic sense, people die every day from Malaria and you are sitting on your bum watching Jon fork his 19-year-old- babysitter (this is not fact, just rumor).

A simple word of advice would be to spend that 30 minutes reading a newspaper about the progress in health care reform and invoking your intellectual abilities rather than enjoying your mindless time watching some obscure slant to another spin-off.

In the words of philosopher T.I., "live your life" and make the world a better place with actual quality entertainment.