Spin Cycle: Country Awash in Reality Mania

During yet another heat advisory, I was contemplating whether to go out or stay in. As luck would have it, I turned on the television for a moment and was greeted with the show “Jerseylicious.” The reality show’s setup is to record a day in the life of a New Jersey hair salon. That should give you fair warning for which I am about to write.

Certainly there’s a case to be made — from an entertainment standpoint — that it is the consumer who is driving the reality show craze. Yet, somehow today’s menu of reality shows reminds me of the venue in “Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome.” You know, the one where a then sane Mel Gibson is treated to a plethora of badass freaks and outlandish villains on the center stage.

We appear to be tipping ever so quickly toward the preposterous and mind-numbing storylines of reality entertainment and asking for more of it. The more outrageous a reality show is the better.

Are we near the point where reality shows fulfill the science fiction writer’s futuristic vision of a land so wrapped up in the outrageous as a cure for boredom that the line between reality and fiction blurs? Remember the line, especially as it relates to people like Blago in Chicago, “fact is stranger than fiction.”

OK, maybe that’s a bit too deep.

But how do eight nobody’s living in New Jersey command time on nightly news casts while the nation waits breathless in anticipation to see if Snookie is going to sign on the dotted line for the next season?

Yes, I may be showing my age here, but from a communication perspective, it’s pretty intriguing to think about what these shows are relaying to our impressionable youth. Is becoming a malcontent, whining drama queen really the new standard for American youth?

Where are Doris Day and Barbie when you need them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *