The Realness And The Rubbish

The Realness And The Rubbish

What reality TV offers its audience
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I watch a lot of reality TV.

Most people’s immediate mental image when reality TV is brought up is mind-numbing Kardashian Jersey Bachelor Teenage Pregnancy cultural slime that is dumbing America down one “unscripted” episode at a time. I share this same disdain towards a lot of the shows that dominate Bravo, MTV, and ABC (especially the white hetero-pile of toxic sludge that is “The Bachelor”) but with a lot of these shows I find myself unapologetically, sometimes regretfully sucked in.

Our modern concept of “reality television” didn’t really exist in America until 1992 when people stopped being polite and started getting real on “The Real World” where seven strangers were picked to live in a loft in New York City: today, 25 years later, it is inescapable. In my twenty years of experience consuming media I have learned that reality TV is one of the easiest ways to connect with people. In the fifth grade I remember discussing “American Idol” with my science teacher and my classmates like it was a religion. In junior high “The Glee Project” capitalized off of adolescents’ obsession with Finn Hudson and high school glee clubs. Today, on “Bachelor” nights groups of girls congregate in dorm common spaces with TVs across my university’s campus. In my own world “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is practically the fabric of mine and other fanatics’ lives. The day after a queen is eliminated I am either in mourning or praying for my favorite’s numbered days in the competition. I remember when I was young there was a cartoon called “Total Drama Island” that was a faux-reality parody of shows like “Survivor” that my friends and I were absolutely obsessed with. I’m still traumatized by the memory of my parents telling me I couldn’t watch anymore because it was too mature for my age.

These reality shows (one merely a parody of reality) have quietly (or not so quietly) influenced me and Americans for years and I’m trying to work through the thoughts surrounding this controversial subject. Many agree that reality TV is frivolous, fluff, lacking any real substance. It’s where the thin, the white, and the heterosexual go to drink, debauch, and embarrass themselves with each ridiculous fight. Most of the TV shows we know have been proven to be fake, unreal, tearing down the edifice that reality TV has built up.

But I love it.

I can’t get enough of it.

Most of the TV I watch and actually keep up with is reality, past and current. The more I watch of it, I realize that a lot of it is filth. So unimportant, so uninspiring, so unartistic, but I can’t stop watching. I’ve realized, though, that it’s because reality TV isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. There’s so much of it that you have to sift through to find the gems worth your attention. In a normal TV show there’s only so much room for boring air time, footage without purpose; everything is deliberate, while reality isn’t supposed to be. Real life isn’t exciting 24/7: it can get messy, it can often seem pointless. But you need to sit through most of it to get to the good stuff, just like with reality TV.

How many episodes of “The Hills” did I have to sit through to get to that single, mascaraed tear that falls down Lauren Conrad’s cheek (“You know why I’m mad at you, you know what you did!”)? Countless seasons of “The Real World” were watched to see that guy slap Irene in Seattle after she outted him. Kim K losing her diamond earring in the ocean and crying has reached peak memedom (“Kim, there’s people that are dying.”) The night Taylor Hicks snatched the crown off of American sweetheart Katharine McPhee’s precious head on “American Idol” would go down in history as The Day the Music Died. And then there’s that guy from “Survivor” who lied about his freaking grandmother dying just to not get voted off the island.

So, I’d like to validate the hours I spend watching twenty somethings get into yet another drunken fight or the parents with way too many children or a Hilton sister milk a cow with the thought that I am waiting. Waiting for that culturally defining moment that I’ll have seen first hand and not after being recycled into a tweet or a meme.

I also hold out hope that these shows are actually real, or at least hold onto some thin shred of reality. I’d like to think that in the finale of “The Hills” when the camera pans away from Brody Jenner to reveal a soundstage, implying that none of the past six seasons were actually real, that this was just an artistic choice, not telling of the actual scriptedness of the show. We’ll never know for sure whether “Laguna Beach” was the real Orange County or just the fake one, so for now all I can do is hope.

Cover Image Credit: unspalsh

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100 Of The Best Vines Of All Time

Hi, welcome to Chili's!
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Not to be dramatic, but the Vine app was the best thing to ever happen to me.

The Vine app truly understood me and my extremely odd sense of humor. When it was shut down, I felt like a part of me shut down with it. Luckily, I still have the ability to reflect on the good times that I had with Vine. Although there aren't any new Vine videos keeping my spirit alive, the Vine videos from the past are enough to keep me going.

This is way overdue, but here are the 100 best Vines to ever exist (in no particular order).

1. You better stop.

2. Come get y'all juice.

3. WTF is up Kyle.

4. That is NOT correct.

5. Mr. Postman.

6. Good evening.

7. This is your space, this is your area.

8. Honestly not sure what to title this one, but it's great so.

9. Someone help Elmo.

10. Pst...what?

11. Can I get a waffle?

12. Welcome back to Jesus Christ Hotline.

13. Oooooh, my boy going to school.

14. Lebron James.

15. #1 Dad.

16. Two bros chillin' in the hot tub.

17. Iz the fourth of July.

18. You have to say that you're fine and you're not really fine.

19. Tweaka Tweaka.

20. Hi, welcome to Chili's.

21. What up, I'm Jared.

22. If you wanna be a dog, RUFF.

23. When you think you look fresh, but your fish disagrees.

24. Rat in Walmart.

25. I'm dying... without me?

26. White ppl will turn anything into a casserole.

27. So you just gonna bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift.

28. You want a french fry? Eat a french fry.

29. ifyoulikemakingloveatmidnight.

30. Ms. Keisha.

31. Girl you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.

32. My cinnamon apple.

33. Two shots of vodka.

34. Whoever threw that paper.

35. Wow.

36. Do the math.

37. Rip your face off.

38. Fed up teacher.

39. You can't kill me.

40. Look at me now snake.

41. Walking a duck.

42. No matter when you pause this one, it's hilarious.

43. I don't even understand this one.

44. I dropped my hot pocket.

45. I thought you were American.

46. I can't swim.

47. I wanna be a cowboy.

48. I look like Mona Lisa.

49. Look at this graph.

50. Yungman.

51. Squidward dabbing

52. Living with Nicholas Cage.

53. If Tinder had video profiles.

54. Why you always lying.

55. Chicken wing ch-chi-chicken wing.

56. Uh my chicle.

57. Love the Nickleback version.

58. Any excuse to nae nae.

59. I want to be famous.

60. That's my opinion.

61. There she goes.

62. I have to restart my potatoes.

63. And they don't stop coming.

64. Cat horn.

65. Who is she.

66. The bob.

67. Summertime.

68. Do I look like.

69. Nice Ron.

70. Mom hearing 'Only' by Nicki Minaj for the first time.

71. Happy fourth of July.

72. I'm washing me and my clothes.

73. Nickel the creatorback.

74. Give me your money.

75. U stoopid.

76. Shrek at school.

77. Patricia honey can you be quiet.

78. No baby.

79. You've got a big storm coming.

80. Out shopping with my coven.

81. Extreme makeover home edition.

82. They were roommates.

83. White girl trying to remember the day she was born.

84. xoxo, gossip girl.

85. Big time rush.

86. Scared grandma throwing milk.

87. Suicide fairy.

88. Zoey 101 microwave.

89. When you leave your makeup on after a night out.

90. Crazy skateboarding tricks.

91. Noodle head.

92. Under all that makeup.

93. Marriage goals.

94. Boy putting on lipstick.

95. When you walk past your friend's class.

96. Clear elevator jamming.

97. #RunningManChallenge

98. T-T-T-T-Target.

99. We all have a lot of laughs.

100. High school musical.

Honestly, I still can think of 100 more of the greatest vines of all time... but I guess I should stop now.

Cover Image Credit: NY Mag

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3 Lessons Female Journalists IRL Can Take Away From Movie Journalists

Analyzing the portrayal of female journalists in mainstream Hollywood film.

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I'll admit, I've had a love affair with rom-coms from the 2000s for a long time (and still do). In all the cheesy rom-coms I watched, I noticed a common trope: the protagonist almost always works in journalism (mainly writing for lifestyle magazines).

I looked at the industry with a set of rose-colored glasses based on the number of movies I watched. Based on the protagonists' portrayals, I saw glamorous young women working in trendy spaces while getting paid to work on cool projects such as creating new branding initiatives and attending fashion events.

I saw a stress-free world of beauty samples, editorial shoots and an endless supply of designer clothing. You know what I didn't see? Pulling out your hair at four in the morning and panicking because your main source did not send an email. I didn't see journalists trying to come up with a pitch after being burnt out for the past few issues.

It seems as if the fictional world of movie journalists are taken straight out of an influencer's social media account. I mean, who has the funds to live in a densely populated city such as New York, all while driving a decent car and having a fully stocked designer wardrobe? Making $32,000 a year as an entry-level journalist cannot get you a one-bedroom condo in an expensive neighborhood with a walk-in closet and modern furniture.

Of course, fictional journalists are not perfect. We all have our flaws and make mistakes from time to time. However, it isn't safe to say that Hollywood provides an accurate depiction of female journalists (who just so happen to all be white females and not a single female journalist of color). Below is a listicle of the faux-pas of certain practices and aspects portrayed in film.

Falling in love (or perhaps sleeping with) a source 

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A major plotline in a majority of rom-coms (think "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "Trainwreck") is the protagonist falling in love with the subject of her article, and thus, getting caught up in the whirlwind of her personal life.

Not only is this a major ethical issue, but it has the ability to sway the tone of the article and border into a conflict of interest or a bias. Journalists, do not sleep with your sources.

Pursuing a certain field without interest

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"Following your passions" may be a cliché phrase when referring to career aspirations, but it is cliché for a reason.

If you aren't passionate about what you're writing about, it clearly shows in your writing. Take, for example, Anne Hathaway's character, Andy Sachs, in "The Devil Wears Prada." When first being introduced to Miranda Priestly, the Editor-In-Chief of Runway Magazine, she does not take her job seriously, quoting that she isn't familiar with "this stuff" (fashion journalism).

Another example would be Isla Fisher's character, Rebecca Bloomwood, in "Confessions of a Shopaholic." A major theme of the film is Rebecca taking up a job at Successful Savings magazine, despite her shopaholic attitude, under the impression she'll get hired at another fashion magazine.

At the end of the day, pursuing your interests will pay off in the long run.

Going Undercover 

Never Been Kissed (1999)

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As interesting as this sounds for a film plot (think of Drew Barrymore's "Never Been Kissed"), going undercover for an article or not revealing your true intentions as a reporter is a major faux pas. Not only is this unethical, but it damages the trust between your sources and yourself as a journalist.

Going undercover and falling in love with your source (see above) is especially a bad combination. Don't go breaking hearts for article views.


At the end of the day, female journalists are portrayed in a certain light in order to add depth to a plotline and make the film seem more interesting. As much as I can protest over the lack of female journalists of color in Hollywood films, or the lack of female journalists in fields other than fashion journalism, one can only wait until someone writes an accurate screenplay.

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