If you know who those people are, then you have the same illness with which I am afflicted. You see, anyone who can name the past five Survivor winners (I can tell you the runners-up, too) off the top of his or her head has to have a serious problem.
I have a co-worker who maintains that Reality TV is the clearest sign of the decline of modern culture. He says that Reality TV is worse than terrorism.
I don’t care.
I’ve seen grown men and women drink coagulated blood. I’ve seen them leap off of perfectly good buildings for no good reason, other than cash and some glory. Hell, I’m watching some good-looking women swim around with dead rats in their mouths right now.
I’ve seen Adam alienate Ellen because of his ADD. I’ve seen Julie the Mormon freak out and ditch her religion. I’ve seen Neleh scream, “Oh, my heck!” fifty times an hour. I watched Bunky, the gay wimp turn into a bona fide bodybuilder.
Pathetic? Maybe. Sad? Possibly. Lame? Probably. I don’t give a crap. I wanna know who’s going to win The Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes. I wanna know if Deaf Christy can get Jenna and Heidi back for voting her off.
Is it bad TV? Well, here’s how I think about it: Sure, there’s good drama on TV (see: Boomtown), but we’re constantly subjected to cut-rate, repetitive, hour-long schlock (see: ER) in which the drama is so un-dramatic that it’s laughable. The other choice is the cookie-cutter, one-joke sitcom (see: Will & Grace) where someone is either outrageously gay, or the main character is a pathetic husband.
At least there is some question how Reality TV is going to end. Sometimes, the bad guy wins in the end – that never happens on scripted TV! Is it Reality? No, that would suck. I’d much rather see someone maneuver a Razor Scooter 100 feet in the air over a strip of metal 10 inches wide with nothing but a bungee cord strapped to his back, than watch Joey say something stupid again, or watch some good looking doctor die from a brain tumor . . . again.
Is Reality TV on the downswing? Is it on its way out? Man, I hope not. I hate sitcoms.