So I was spinning yarn for an upcoming project, when I noticed my TiVo had suggested an old episode of "Charmed" called "Witch Wars". I have Charmed on DVD, so I was about to delete it when I thought "What the heck" and watched it. The playlist was pretty darn sparse, and I needed the background noise.
Amusingly, it's an episode about a reality gameshow made up by a bunch of enemy demons. Supernatural mumbo-jumbo aside, it has a few of the most amusing lines in it, despite the fact that it was one of the WORST episodes of "Charmed" ever. Hints that demons should have thought up the concept of reality television, but humans got to it first, etc.
Ever since the writer's strike that started the whole thing (not the last one, the one before) I have been reallllly trying hard not to say too much. I mean, there was a time I wanted to be a writer, so I understand the concept of wanting to be paid fairly for your work. The concept that the studios shouldn't pay you peanuts for your contribution, then make billions on digital internet distribution simply because standardized union contracts couldn't read the future. I get it.
But holy crap, the effects of ONE little work stoppage... in retrospect, I really wish it had never happened.
There are many reasons why I despise reality television. Actually, I'm not a fan of the business model of television in general (don't get me started on corporate advertising and its effects on the American people) but reality television in particular really bothers me. It's voyeurism coupled with coerced humiliation. I mean seriously, if people didn't have the promise of a lucrative outcome dangling over their heads, would they put up with people like Simon, or Donald Trump? That kind of thing happens all the time in private... reality television just takes your most humiliating work moments and shows them to a million people. Or dating moments. Or travel moments. Or dieting moments.
I find nothing redeemable in these shows. They're all means for networks to make a fast buck, and they exploit the hopes and dreams of the American people to do it. I wouldn't want someone to participate in humiliating *me*, so I don't watch these shows. I would much rather observe a well-crafted story than watch someone herd geese on "Amazing Race".