Friday, August 27, 2010

Reality Horseshit

Intelligent television is dead. Not that it was ever really intelligent to begin with, mind you, but whatever semblance there was to semi-thoughtful broadcasting has now been completely erased and replaced with brain-numbing, soul-sucking Reality bullshit.

Suddenly, it seems that my life has become even less exciting and insignificant than I once thought. It’s as if everyone else's life is so much more interesting than mine. I used to watch television as an escape mechanism from my own skull-crushingly humdrum life and delve into more fantastical worlds of solving crimes, diagnosing life-threatening diseases or thwarting elaborate terrorist plots. Now I get to watch people bake cakes.

Whoopee shit.

Pioneers into this Reality TV frontier like Big Brother, Survivor and American Idol are becoming passé as we are now more intrigued by the more mundane shows like Antique Roadshow, Pawn Stars, or Miami Ink. It doesn’t matter if you design tattoos or maneuver heavy machinery across frozen inland lakes, the North American public wants to know about it apparently.

Am I the only person who doesn’t give a shit?

Lets’ review some of the current popular Reality show trends, shall we?

Ice Road Truckers / Ice Pilots

How did this ever make it to syndication in the first place? They drive trucks back and forth across Arctic wastelands; it’s cold and dangerous – I get it. I don’t need to watch three-fucking-seasons to get the gist. There’s never much wondering what the next episode is going to be about, is there? More ice, more cold, more trucks, more idiots driving across frozen lakes. You could be deaf and dumb and still be able to follow this plotline; same for its latest spin-off Ice Pilots. Yep – you guessed it – they fly over Arctic wastelands. And, yes, it’s still cold and dangerous. It’s enough to give you brain freeze.

Ace of Cakes

Here’s a show I’d love to nuke. They make cakes; most notably “they make it bigger, make it badder and make it awesome”. Booooooring! And when they’re not making their cakes they’re out Alpine skiing down remote Alaskan mountainsides or playing concerts for sell out audiences. Is the cake making business that lucrative? Shit, perhaps I should pack it all in and taking baking classes at my local college. Never mind making it bigger or badder; how about making it less gay?

Jon and Kate Plus 8

Here’s a show that really twists my Charlie Brown’s in a knot. Two parents exploiting their uber-fertility and children for fame and fortune. The bounds of their shamelessness must be as deep and loose as Kate’s hoo-hoo I suspect. The fact that they have lots of children, for some reason, also seems to entitle them to all expense paid vacation trips to Hawaii or Disneyland. And when they aren’t globe-trotting all over paradise with their rug rats in tow, we’re forced to watch them doing ordinary stuff like having breakfast, getting ready for school or defusing temper tantrums. Seriously? This is considered entertainment? If I wanted to watch family squabbles I’d go visit my own family, thank you very much.

Little People, Big World

Here’s a real gem of a show based on the lives of dwarf couple Matt and Amy Roloff, who are struggling to raise their four children on their 34-acre farm. Struggling? What struggling? The guy rides around his farm on a Gator all day long building stuff like fake canyons and pumpkin catapults – how is that struggling exactly? I work hard for a living and I don’t have any canyons or pumpkin catapults in my yard. And when he’s not building stuff he’s attending hockey practices with the Calgary Flames. Gone are the good ‘ol days I guess when dwarfs only achieved fame and fortune by dancing around in clown-like costumes and having pies shoved in their faces.

Practically anybody can have a Reality television show nowadays. Car salesmen, pawn shop owners, scrap metal dealers, hell, even garbage pickers. There doesn’t seem to be any limits whatsoever. In fact, the more boring it seems - the better. It’s not as if these people live terribly exciting lives either. But then again, who would watch a television show about working in a call center, or being a bank teller. Instead, we prefer to watch programs revolving around the things we’d rather be doing instead, no matter how dull or ordinary.

Even beyond these total wastes of satellite signals are other programs about interventions, hoarders, prison inmates, bail jumpers – you name it. No stone, no matter how uninteresting or unseemly, is left unturned. If you develop a case of genital herpes, you could quite possibly end up with your own Reality series – “Contagiously, Yours…”

Having said all this, there are some bastions of sanity in the Reality television world worth exploring that offer something in the way of entertainment.

Deadliest Warrior

This show is simply the tits. Ever wonder who would win in a fight between a Viking and a Samurai, or maybe between a Spartan and a Ninja? Well wonder no more - Deadliest Warrior to the rescue! “Experts” will wage faux combat on crash test dummies and hanging pig carcasses in an attempt to see who would wreck the most bloody havoc on the battlefield with their deadly arsenal. Yup – its blood splatter and gnarly carnage galore for this entire hour’s worth of programming, and all followed up with a computer generated mock battle between the two foes to determine, once and for all, “who is deadliest”. Classic television!

Jurassic Fight Club

Along the same vein as Deadliest Warrior is this Dino-nugget of a kick ass show that stages hypothetical battles between two colossus carnivorous prehistoric beasts. If that doesn’t give you wood then I don’t know what does.


Here’s a Canadian Reality show featuring a two-man team of ordinary rubes trying to elude two roughneck cowboys on horseback over an ever-changing landscape in order to reach a designated finish line undetected in 36 hours. It’s the Fugitive brought to life.

Tank Overhaul

They rebuild old tanks. Need I say more?

Iron Chef

For anyone who loves food – this show is a must. Based on the original Japanese broadcast, this North American remake pits a “veritable pantheon of culinary giants” against one another in something known as “Kitchen Stadium” to see who can make the most intricate and delicious fare out of some secret ingredient. It’s total food porn. Just because I can’t have any of it, doesn’t mean that I can’t beat off to it every now and again.


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