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Will wonders never cease?

Apparently Fox TV has realized that they "relied too heavily on Reality TV". This is a revelation up there with "Hey! The sky is blue!" and "Toast is good with butter."

"Reality" TV is the most gawdawful invention foisted upon us since Muzak. It doesn't even qualify as reality. It's just cheap programming. Producers don't pay scale to the writers—yes, if you think "Reality" TV is unscripted I can hook you up with Jennifer Aniston, real cheap like. Hell, they don't even call the writers writers, all in an effort to protect the lie that this is something out of real life. No royalties are paid to the (non)"talent" people in front of the cameras. DVD royalties? Hah! Don't make this bitter entertainment industry vet laugh. The contracts they offer contestants on American Idol make being a sex slave in the Middle East look like a good gig, or at least one with more dignity.

Fox has become the "Reality" channel, excepting the success of 24 and the quality of House. So much so that they've had to really scrape the bottom of the (toilet) bowl to come up with some of this crap. Fox's edginess has been replaced by an effort to see just how far they can push the bounds of decency. Attitude has be pre-empted by executives devoid of imagination or, seemingly, intelligence. They can't even be original in their religion of crass—they have to rip off other "Reality" concepts. Their programming lineup is one of the reasons I don't watch network TV anymore, save for sporting events. Watching the paint on my walls is about as exciting as their reality TV and is infinitely more "real".

Wake me up when Barry Diller comes back to Fox TV and reminds them what the "Fox Attitude" is all about. Until then, I'm busy with my own reality and don't have time for the un-real "Reality".


Latigo Flint said…
But someone still needs to make Rube's the Cory Squared, Comeback Movie reality show.

Where have you gone Rube Waddell? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Maia said…
Riddle me this:

How is it that the same people who'd love to get rid of PBS (which brings us such degenerate tripe as "Nova" and "Scientific American Frontiers"), who preach family values and the virtues of being morally upright, God-fearing folk (and in case you couldn't tell, I'm talking about right-wing politicians), are in a sweetheart relationship with Fox News -- the news arm of a mega-network that, as you've so artfully elucidated, thrives on airing pond scum recast as "entertainment?"

Or better yet... How is it that the same network can bring us "The Simpsons" and "Arrested Development" and similar clever programs while at the same time pouring so much energy into dragging broadcast TV through the gutter?
Anonymous said…
Great post. I agree.

I hate reality programming -- all the way back to its beginning: MTV's The Real World.

I blogged on this a while back, in fact.

I didn't think about the cheap production aspect, though. You don't have to pay writers. Although I still say they're scripted. Phoney baloney crap.
Zach Pennington said…
Oh, all those shows have writers—catch is, they aren't allowed to call themselves writers. They get titles like Line Producer. Most of these shows have 100-200 page outlines—which is on par with a movie script for length.

But if they were called "Writers" or something similar, like "Writers", the very shaky illusion that the action is unscripted would finally crumble.
The best was the SNL Real World where the people in the house were getting real, really really real, real, really real, real real.

... And they had an Eskimo.
Captain Mog said…
Reality television is just another cash cow for the media conglomerate and in this exploitation of themes and popular culture explains the beast which is Television Corporations. There is no shocked surprise from the lack of… oops, I mean, um… More boobs on TV, hooray! Reality TV rocks as long as there’s bear butts and people getting hurt, woo-hoo! I gotta’ go.
Mike R. said…
Hey Darth, Thanks for the comment on my humble little blog. I got linked by that site and funny enough most of the other people who commented seem to have umm, well made me public enemy #1.
Me running for the Senate against BBoxer was totally tongue in cheek, but maybe I'd have a shot. LOL
Totally agree with you on reality TV. I admit to have watched the first two Survivors and The Mole- only the first season, but since then its just been nothing but a race to see how low and retarded they can go. Hopefully its a phase that will pass like all the newsmagazines that sprouted in primetime in the late 90s, but it only seems to be getting worse.

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