When is Reality TV really Reality?
Let’s be honest with each other, Reality TV is the furthest thing from reality. It has been widely reported that Real Housewives is guilty of multiple retakes during fights and other scenes to maximize the drama. The editors for Amazing Race and Survivor win Emmys! Which brings up an incredibly interesting point when the Patriarch of Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, in an interview with GQ gives the world something they aren’t used to, Reality!?!?
Now I get why some people are up in arms. To some, Phil’s comments were vile. To others, his comments were protected by the 1st Amendment. I think A&E is in a huge bind! They are making money hand over fist; their top franchise reportedly has a $400,000,000 license war chest for things like Phil Robertson mugs, Teleflora flower arrangements, Under Armour camo gear, t-shirts, Halloween costumes, on and on and on! So, in some ways A&E took a huge risk financially by suspending Phil Robertson. Hell, the family can pull an Oprah and start its own network if they wanted to. But the conundrum that the Network is in is: what is the definition of reality? If Phil really believes what he said and his speech is protected, why didn’t A&E suspend him when he skinned a rabbit or shot a duck and PETA went insane??
So I guess Reality TV has a very fluid definition depending on whom and what you care about. For my money, I miss the “reality” of the Brady Bunch or the Partridge Family. I think sometimes when you get too deep into people’s personal lives and don’t like what you see, you should have known better than to believe they weren’t being manicured by a publicist or the Network spin doctors. So next time I turn on the TV and see a family of fire eaters or people that poke their eyes out with forks, I am probably going to turn the channel because I don’t really believe what I am seeing. Too bad, I heard Nat Geo is doing a show in 2014 with Tourist wrapped in bacon swimming with Great White sharks. Oh well!