Yet Another Column about Reality TV

I spent the great majority of my summer studying abroad in London. While I was over there, I was surprised to find that reality TV is not only popular in Europe, it is a way of life. "Big Brother" is the most popular TV show in the UK. Like "American Idol," they received literally millions of votes every week to see who would be next voted out of the Big Brother house. There are spinoffs of "Big Brother," too. The network that shows "Big Brother" in the UK shows one hour of live house coverage per night, which usually shows the housemates doing your typical everyday rating-sweeps type activities: sitting around, watching TV, scratching their butts, and brushing their teeth. There is also a show on the same network called "Big Brother's Little Brother," which is a program about the other program. No, I don't understand it either.

Not unlike the slap bracelet, the Chia™ pet and bathing, reality TV is one of those fads I've just never gotten. I guess I just don't understand the draw. Reality is boring. Why would people want to watch it? That's why we have TV; so we don't have to watch reality.

But I suppose that is the draw of reality TV: It's not very realistic at all. The only thing that separates reality TV from normal, fake (I guess that's what you'd call it) TV is a script. But it's not like you need a script when you have realistic situations as:
- People competing to be the last voted off an island to win one million dollars
- People competing to be the last voted out of boot camp to win one million dollars
- People competing to be the last voted out of a house to win one million dollars
- People competing to be the last voted out of a talent competition to win one million dollars and/or a record contract
- People competing to be the last sexy single to be voted off the island to win the heart of another sexy single who is testing their relationship with another sexy single and, um, one million dollars

This is why I hate reality TV. Reality isn't exciting because normal people aren't exciting, so you have to put normal boring people into wackily unrealistic situations to make reality.

This is why The Osbournes is the best reality TV show ever. Because the Osbournes are not normal everyday boring people. They are insane, as are most coked-out celebrities. I mean, look at The Anna Nicole Show. That show is E!'s highest rated show ever. And do you know why? Because it's not starring boring everyday people. It's starring a coked-out, overweight, over-made-up ex-Playboy bunny who married a 94-year-old Texas oil tycoon billionaire. Also, she has a son somehow. Normal people are not like that. That's why they should take insane coked-out celebrities and put them in wackily unrealistic situations. Could you imagine putting the casts of The Osbournes and The Anna Nicole Show together on a special celebrity edition of Temptation Island? In arguably the most difficult deciphering of the English language in the history of mankind, Anna Nicole could put the moves on Ozzy, while Anna's teenage son could put the moves on Sharon and Kelly. Meanwhile Jack could be off in the woods, being creepy.

Also appeared in September 19, 2002 edition of the MU Student News.