What’s New in Reality TV
The concept of what we call "Reality Television" has become increasingly ubiquitous as it is relatively cheap to produce and brings in lots of advertising revenues. It gets further and further out. Here is a glance at where it is going next year.
Five New Reality TV Shows: Get Ready!!
There was a time when "reality" on TV was regarded as being equivalent to the news. Edward R. Morrow and Walter Cronkite - Now they were about 'reality.' In recent years, however, two converging phenomena have changed the entire meaning of what we regard as 'reality' on TV.
Firstly, there is the fact that most people realize that even information presented as 'news' is not necessarily objectively accurate by any standard measure.
Secondly, an genre of television show called 'reality TV' has grown from the basic day time format of the 1950's "Queen For A Day" and the 70's silliness of "The Gong Show" into a plethora of programs that make a fortune for the networks because they are cheap to produce and sell a lot of advertising at high rates - because, of course, lots of people watch them.
In the interests of the continuing success of this uniquely capitalistic venture, the following list is a sampling of five new 'reality' shows that will be found on both major and cable networks beginning early in 2012.
1. "The Cleanest Man Alive": A show that gets men to compete in body cleansing competitions (longest showers, most astringents used, etc.) The results are determined by culturing microbes from various skin areas of contestants and determining, very scientifically, precisely who is the cleanest!
2. "The World's Ugliest Child": A panel of professional portrait photographers, parents, plastic surgeons and make-up specialists vote on the relative ugliness of children, in three age groups (3-6, 7-9, and 10-13) to determine which is the hardest for other people to look at. Many of the contestants are expected to be members of families who applied to but were not accepted as 'guest patients' on Dr. Phil.
3. "Who Is Your Mamma?": In this immediately transparent derivative of the 50's and 60's "What's My Line," a group of celebrities attempt to match adult children with their mothers. The ideal contestants will not know or be able to recognize either of their own parents so whoever is selected by the celebrity panel, actually becomes their momma!
4. "The Best Of The Worst: The Queen Of Hideous Makeup" : Panelists randomly selected from each live studio audience get to vote on which contestant's makeup is the most repellent and unattractive. Who would enter such a contest, you might ask? Who goes on Dr. Phil?
And, finally -
5. "The World's Most Self-Righteous Teenager": A select panel of academic theologians and practicing congregational clergy judge the generally self-proclaimed righteousness of teens that compete for this coveted title.
Sit back and enjoy ... If you dare!