When Reality TV Gets Too Real

I do not watch reality television. Once upon a time, I was a great follower of The Real World and for a while I did indulge in The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but the drama of it all got on my nerves. The shows became contrived, scripted and melodramatic. In between, I also loosely followed reality television shows with real celebrities, like The Family Crewes, Tia and Tamera, and Run’s House. I found it mildly interesting to see what these celebrities were like in real life. Mildly!

A friend recently asked if I watched R & B Divas: LA. After sucking my teeth and wrinkling my nose in disgust, he told me it was a really good show and not full of petty drama. Well that was several weeks ago, and from what I’ve been seeing in Twitter and Facebook feeds, it seems the tide has turned. Another friend posted a comment on Facebook about the show and others chimed in about the seemingly out-of-character shenanigans of diva Kelly Price. What I found interesting was one commenter, who basically said that some celebs should stay away from reality television because it may actually taint the view fans have always had of them. Kelly Price had been to many an R & B sweetheart. But this show has shown a catty and unflattering side of her personality, which may or may not be a true reflection of her real self.

So it got me to thinking…it seems celebs who join these shows are usually less-than-A-list, or have faded star status. This is supposed to be their chance to get back in the spotlight. But it seems, as in Ms. Price’s case, they are doing more damage than good. I like the old days of celebrity – the mystery of their real lives only came out in their post-career memoirs. I guess I just focus on the talent…I don’t need to see the drama. LOL What I find more interesting is watching people become so engaged each week – whether glued in front of the TV or setting the DVR – followed by spirited discussions on social media. Now THAT’S entertainment! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “When Reality TV Gets Too Real

  1. Calandra:

    The rating came from your assessment of Reality TV. You are on to something. But let’s look closer, shall we? As a former published writer for a respected news media outlet magazine I will say that Reality TV has put soap opera’s out of business and thank goodness! Weren’t we all tired of “Erica Kane?” Keep in mind, these shows are not “scripted”–Kelly Price or Teresa Giudice are not trained actress’. Reality TV is gauged by its editing process. You know why you liked the Real World? Because MTV spent big bucks on talented producer’s and editor’s. For a show to be scripted–there needs to be rehearsals, what happens with Reality TV is that you ‘sign in’ the days you are able to shoot–no rehearsals.

    I love the Housewives installments because Bravo has carefully hand-selected very talented editor’s. You are left with questions and cliff-hanger’s, this is excellent editing. I will produce a piece on this but if Kelly Price is acting like a “diva” the producer’s are “egging” her on. And guess what? If you have kids to feed and a mortgage you’re gonna “bring the noise.” Because now it is a known fact throughout Hollywood that hit Reality TV shows pay BIG. Why do you think Melissa Gorga cut Teresa’s throat to get on the gravy train? Not just to look pretty but, everyone knows it’s a way to expand on other ventures–hence her singing. Bethany Frankel is a good example of this–she laughed all the way to the bank with her Skinny Girl Margarita’s and she wasn’t even a housewife–in a marital sense. It pays and editing is king/queen of the game. Thanks for sharing your article.

    Doll43

    • I totally agree with you. I used to watch Jersey Shore, just to have follow up conversations with a friend who is a film editor. He explained the same points you raised about controlling the action. I thought it was fascinating. Reality TV is more than just niche entertainment. It’s a real business! And yes, dude from Bravo knows EXACTLY what he’s doing with all the Housewives shows. He built a brand and he’s also ignoring the scoffers, all the way to the bank!

      Thanks for reading, and sharing your thoughts!

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