Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Is Reality TV Hell on Earth, or is it just Purgatory?
How else to explain why every lost, forsaken, misbehaving, and desperate celebrity (and I use the word celebrity in its most sweeping form) seeking to crawl back from the Ninth Circle sends their agent, publicist, lawyer, campaign manager or brother-in-law to get them a spot on the first available reality show?
And, we gleefully watch the eager hopefuls compete in the most entertaining and potentially degrading manner. We very rarely care about these celebrity attempts at revival, and forget about them when the season is over. There is a noticeable measure of cruelty in this voyeurism, and we are all - spectator and contestant alike - diminished. But they keep coming and hoping we will watch.
As if it will be redemptive. As if it is the first step back to the privileged life. As if it will salvage a reputation sullied by scandal - or worse - boredom. As if reality TV will cause John and Brenda on Oak Hill Circle to say, "Look at that former-rock-star-turned-soft-porn-queen bungee jump for sushi! She's got spunk! I don't care what OK! Magazine says about her! Let's buy her conveniently release retrospective CD, and watch next week!"
I guess now the producers are hoping John and Brenda will watch Rod Blagojevich competing for charity (sans kickbacks?) in Costa Rica on "I'm A Celebrity .... Get Me Out of Here!", and say, "Look at that former-and-soon-to-be-up-the-river-Governor Blagojevich racing toucans for charity! He's got cajones! I don't care what the courts say! Let's send money for his defense fund and watch next week!"
That is if the courts approve his trip to Costa Rica.