Thursday, September 25, 2008

REALITY TV- DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL, IT'S STILL JUST ENTERTAINMENT!

Submitted by JusRobin

What ever happened to the good old Sitcoms of the 90's and the early 2000's? Lately I've fallen victim to the whole Reality Television Circuit, much to my dismay! It all began when I started to watch this train wreck of a show called the "Flavor of Love" and it was almost like I couldn't turn away, it was to me a ghetto (for lack of a better phrase) version of "the Bachelor". This show was the worst, but I couldn't turn away! I tuned in every week to see who was going to go home. For those of you who are not aware of this show, it aired on VH1 about 2 or 3 years ago and has managed to have 3 seasons and yes I must admit I've watched all 3, (I know I'm ashamed no need to bash me) it is about a former Hip Hop Hype Man finding "true love". Which leads me to my next question; seriously can you find true love on a television dating show? The show's format was that of a mansion that was supposedly owned by this Hype Man and a group of ladies were chosen to stay there until they were eliminated. Eliminations were based on the way they handled certain task from cooking and clean, to dancing and prancing (what a range). If the task were performed to the liking of the this Hype Man then you would stay on for the next round, and if you stunk at the task at hand, then "your time was up"! Obviously this show was successful, because this guy had the chance to find "true love" for 3 seasons and I managed to stay tuned for that long too! Having said that, is this what Entertainment has become, are we living our lives vicariously through characters on a "game/reality show? Should I even be calling these regular joe people characters? Which leads me to my next statement about this show which has also lead to 3 spin off series, while on the Flavor of Love, if it was found out that you were only there for TV time then you were also eliminated! Are you serious TV Producer guys? I think the whole purpose for auditioning for this show had to be everything but finding "True Love", which ultimately includes TV time! What a joke I thought, as I kept watching, which was ultimately what the producers and other show execs wanted. Mission Accomplished.

To read the rest of this article and more of JusRobin's writing please click here.

33 comments:

delurkerloo said...

I watched the first season of Flavor of Love, but was a bigger fan of I Love New York. I actually think these shows are classier than The Bachelor as opposed to "ghetto." Why? Because FOL and ILNY were very tongue in cheek and full of wink wink humor. They gave the viewer credit for being smart enough to know that you most likely can't find true love on a reality show, the participants are a variety of famewhores and wannabe actors, and it's all in good fun. The Bachelor plays more to some fans (see TWOP) who get swept up in the faux romance. I watch that show too, but I don't take it seriously.

I always thought there might be a disconnect with some of those who watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 in that they might be watching this reality show genre for the first time and aren't really aware of all the machinations involved. Even my kids who watch the show occasionally make statements like "they're lucky they have a t.v. show so they can go there" when they see something like the Utah episode. It's accepted and understood that this is how "reality" shows work. There never is this sense that Jon and Kate are struggling just like me, so there's never this feeling of "betrayal" and resultant bitterness when it turns out that they aren't.

Now the big argument in the case of the Gosselins would that there are kids involved and they shouldn't be a party to these manipulations. Well, I say that's up to the parents. It's up to Jon and Kate to make decisions on behalf of their children and try to balance financial and emotional risks and benefits. They know their kids better than anyone else ever will and sometimes you have to trust that parents will do right by their kids. If they don't they won't be the first parents to screw up. There are some things you can't make laws for and in my opinion individual family decisions is one of them.

That being said, I also think it's a good idea to protect these kids in reality shows to make sure a certain percentage of profits is set aside for them and that there are safeguards to ensure that they are not being adversely affected psychologically. This goes for all reality shows. I actually find shows like Wife Swap and Supernanny more suspect when it comes to the psychological damage that might be caused. Those kids are shown in the worst light and the kids on Wife Swap are put through an emotional ringer what with a new mom and new rules and angry dad and all.

What really stinks about GWOP is that some of the posters there are so passionate and apparently have a lot of free time on their hands and can actually make a difference in the world. Instead, any good intentions get lost in a sea of envy and judgment and spite. Hopefully Paul Peterson can take the good and leave out the bad that some from GWOP most likely constantly communicate with him about and make something good happen from all of it. All the others like Bill O'Reilly and Dr. Phil and whoever else they email most likely won't ever even see what they have to say because it won't get past whoever reads their email for them because of all the crazy allegations and speculation that gets mixed up with the pertinent facts.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...so you are posting a comment from "JusRobin" which links back to her blog. On her blog are two ads for Jon & Kate PLus 8 DVDs. I smell a rat. Why are you sending us to a commercial site? JusRobin gets money for every click on JK8 DVD button.

Up to this point the entries you have posted have been from viewers of the show, not people with a vested interest in profiting from the show.

Nina Bell said...

Pretty comical stuff you right Anon 6:27am. Not that I have to explain myself to you but....

Well over a month ago JusRobin posted on this site. I cliked on her s/n and came to her blog called the Ugly Chair. We communicated back and forth and I said I would give her blog a plug. She said she would write something up about Reality TV because she felt something of an expert in that. Weeks passed and I finally heard from her. She said she had decided to leave Google's Blogger and go to Hubpages. Something I had never heard of. She did write the article and posted it there and welcomed me to link to it or recreate it. I think she is pretty sharp and talented writer and thought that maybe some other people would enjoy her writing. I have done this before for several people. Look through this blog.

I suspect the ads on her blog are from adsense or something similar. They pick up on the content of your blog and advertise accordingly to the audience that they feel they will reach.

I have had some real problems with rats lately though. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

nina bell said: Pretty comical stuff you right Anon 6:27am. Not that I have to explain myself to you but....

I have had some real problems with rats lately though. Any suggestions?
...

O.K., I'll bite. What do you mean by rats? Do you mean Kate detractors? Or, aggressive commenters?

Nina Bell said...

Anon 7:12 am

First I must correct right - I meant to say write.

Actually, I was talking about real rats!

Our neighbors have a guest house that is right next to our back yard. They have left it unattended and rats are taking over the place.
They like to come over and hang out at night underneath our hot tub.

We have secured our house as much as we can so they don't enter. We have three dogs that spend a lot of time in our back yard so it is not easy to put out rat poisoning.The dogs keep them away during the day but we see them scamper at times at night.

Orkin won’t deal with it. Our neighbor won't deal with it.

So we just kind of ignore them.

merryway said...

Because the show was on Discovery and TLC, I expected a more honest show. Eons ago, when cable first came out, we all wanted Discovery. It was a like a higher level of PBS. Now TLC seem to walk a fine line between education and exploitation.
The first two episodes were like documentaries, so I thought it was a continuation of the same sort.
Wanting to film a just getting by family of 10 and paying them $s to do it changes what was supposed to be captured. In this case, it has given the entire family celebrity status. It seems to me that TLC didn't want to admit how the show was changing their lives and tried to keep showing us the orig picture.

aap said...

Nina -

I know this is an extreme move - depending on how close you are to your neighbors - but you should be able to contact and file a complaint about them at city hall.

Anonymous said...

When I think rats, I think of the scene from 1984 where John Hurt is wearing a helmet with a tube attached. Rats are placed in the tube attached to John Hurt's helmet. UUUgghhh...I can't even think about the rest of that scene.

Would a cat help?

Daisy said...

Nina, I have the same problem with neighbors and rats. I have 2 cats and have not had any in our yard or house. My suggestion is getting an outdoor cat if you don't have cayotes in your area.

Good luck with this.

delurkerloo said...

Because the show was on Discovery and TLC, I expected a more honest show. Eons ago, when cable first came out, we all wanted Discovery. It was a like a higher level of PBS. Now TLC seem to walk a fine line between education and exploitation.
The first two episodes were like documentaries, so I thought it was a continuation of the same sort.


I hadn't started watching J&K from the beginning, but I did get to see those first episodes in one of the marathons. There was a different tone to it and I can understand how someone who watched that would be thrown off a bit when the show went into "seasons" with all the pre-planned outings specifically designed for the show. I still don't get how someone can identify so much with a family on t.v. to the point where they take everything they do or say personally and get so invested emotionally, though.

As far as that fine line with TLC being exploitative or educational you need to look no further than shows like "I Eat 33,000 Calories A Day." Sure, that was informative and somewhat educational, but TLC knows that there is a freak show element to it that draws in viewers; hence, the title. Bottomline, TV is a business and if being educational in a tasteful manner isn't bringing in the cash for them then they will resort to stuff like "Living With Half A Body." Any adult should be able to understand that. You can be disgusted or outraged, but in the end the best thing to do is change the channel.

nomoredrama said...

Nina,
I'm a little grossed out by the rats. If they come in your house you must act :-)

Linda said...

OH MY GOODNESS!

You are not going to believe it but we had a rat in our minivan. Basically, I had left the garage door open one night and the bugger was looking for a warm place to curl up. She curled up on top of the engine and then made habit-trails out of the tubes that encase the electrical wiring inside the door panels.

We had to have an exterminator come and take care of it.

As far as your situation, I think that filing a complaint with your local city health department would do the trick.

YUCK!

nomoredrama said...

It seems to me that TLC didn't want to admit how the show was changing their lives and tried to keep showing us the orig picture
I have to wonder about this. This could very well be the case.

I just saw the Joel on the laundry room floor episode (finally). First of all, can I say that I just love Mady and Cara. I think Mady is something else and she is definitely going to be something great. She's so articulate and outspoken but I digress.

Anyway, I noticed that the editing made it so you were sure to see Joel on the Laundry room floor but have no idea how long he was there. Later in the episode, he was moved to the bedroom. Also, when Kate yells at Jon for breathing too loud. They made sure she looked ridiculous. Have you ever sat next to a heavy breather? It's annoying. If everyone in the house was sick, Jon could have been catching what they had and breathing more heavy than normal.

Now, could Kate have asked him in a more compassionate manner what was wrong? Sure. She didn't have to be rude so, in that sense, she gave them the ammo. However, I think TLC wanted to make sure we saw this. Why did they even choose this piece of footage to include? They like the image of Kate as OCD crazy lady. And yes, she gives them the material but they make sure to edit the episodes so that this is emphasized. Unfortunately, it is backfiring.

****Wow, what a ramble******

Linda said...

Back to the post ....

One of the things that JusRobin writes about is how sometimes people live their lives vicariously through reality shows.

I think that this is true with the viewers of J&K and could explain why their show evokes such strong reactions from people.

=========================

BTW, if you read the PM blog you'll see that some of the bloggers are still attacking Fiona who is starting to re-think some of the tone of the GwoP blog, Julies blog, etc.

From what I gather, she still holds strong feelings against the Gs decision to do the show, but she wonders about the intensity of the negative comments and the motivations of all these people who come forward.

She also has taken a few of the posters to task for deliberately being vague regarding allegations of abuse and it is interesting because a few of them (Julie included) are back-pedaling a bit.

==================

In my area they've shown repeats of "gumgate" and the infamous "potty training" episode in which Kate takes pictures of the kids first poop on the potty chair.

My reactions are this ... Kate comes across really bad in that episode. She comes across way worse than any slight inference that Jodi was even a little irresponsible. BTW, I don't think Jodi was irresponsible for giving the kids gum.

Myself I'm not a big fan of kids and gum (not because of the mess potential) but because of the choking hazard. I've had to perform the Heimlich (sp?) manuever on a choking 2 year old and it was terrifying.

And with all the hype about the potty shots, I was wondering if the tups private parts were exposed during the filming and I just forgot.

Short answer: They weren't

I find taking a picture of the child & poop to be quirky but if you listen to K you hear her talking about the feeling of pride that the kids have and how she wants them to feel proud of the accomplishment.

I wouldn't do it, but I understand her thinking.

delurkerloo said...

nomoredrama, do you remember the title of that episode? I've heard so much about it and have been dying to see it, but I only record the J&K shows that sound interesting to me based on the description given. I guess Comcast has no idea how infamous this episode is or they would have made sure to put Joel - Laundry Room Floor - Kate Mean somewhere in the description.

nomoredrama said...

It was "Twins Cooking Class (or lessons)" or something like that.

It was re-run last night in my area.

MCB said...

I liked Robin's blog and find it hilarious that a "rat" from GWoP was the first one to reply and start the response thread off with a confrontational and accusatory post. They're sure a delightful, even keeled, happy bunch of loons, aren't they?

In regards to Robin's comments:

I was kind of a "Rock of Love" chick myself. That would be the white trash version of Flavor of Love. I would sit and watch it and think "WHY am I watching this crap?" But, I couldn't turn away. It's a guilty pleasure and I think we all need them in some way, shape or form, whether it be watching trashy television,or secretly singing cheesy 70's and 80's songs when we think no one is watching (which is why I love my I-Pod. No one knows what I'm listening to).

As for Jon and Kate + 8, I am also dumbfounded by the over-invested fan groups. Or should I say NON-fan groups which border on stalking and harassment. It's a TV show! If you're not entertained by it, simply watch something else. It is scary how hateful and worked up some of these people get to the point of crossing the lines of common decency.

delurkerloo said...

Damn, I missed it! I saw that and didn't bother to record it. Oh well, now I know what to look for, and I'm sure it will be on again and again. Thanks normoredrama.

anya said...

nomoredrama said...
"Nina,
I'm a little grossed out by the rats. If they come in your house you must act :-)"


Ok, I would have been in a motel a long time ago until the problem was taken care of.

I have a real phobia about rats which I trace to the 1976 movie "Food of the Gods." I was a latch-key kid and used to come home after school and watch the 3:30 p.m. movie. Guess what was on one day? After that movie, I have never been able to even look at a rat onscreen and not get freaked out.

Actually, I have more phobias :-) - maybe this can be o.t. topic sometime!

Fanny said...

I saw both the "joelgate" and "gumgate" episodes back to back on Wed. TLC appears to be giving the haters the finger, so to speak. Or, feeding them.


And I gotta tell ya, I feel bad enough talking about J+K on the internet, but Flavor Flav? I have to draw the line somewhere;-)

merryway said...

This is a little off topic, but for some reason the Osmonds popped in my head. The parents were in the background with their kids in the foreground. They worked damn hard, long grueling hours.. The parents spanked (almost everyone did it back then) and were very strict. If the Andy William's Show was filmed in Hollywood, those $s would have been protected. But all of the concerts wouldn't have been protected (I'm almost sure of this). Donny and Marie was filmed in Utah so Coogan's law wouldn't have applied there either. I don't remember anyone saying they didn't love their children and shouldn't be treating them that way.
Am I correct in saying that $s children earn are only protected in CA? So, does that mean that mean that every child entertainer who doesn't live in CA is not protected in anyway other than normal child labor laws which I don't think specify protecting their salary. No one ever asked me what I was doing with the $s my son earned. I know that once you're a member of SAG that union rules apply to hours and conditions. Surprisingly, a lot of working actors don't want to belong to SAG or lie about it because it's easier to get day to day work if you're not. (local commercials and such). If what I think is right, where is the outcry for all other children entertainers?

Nina, sorry about the rats. Can rats hurt or kill a cat? If the dogs aren't doing it, you're in a tough spot. A friend of mine who lived in Canada used to have to sit on her back porch and shoot prairie dogs to keep them out of her house. I'd rather have the prairie dogs than the rats.

nomoredrama said...

Merryway,
I think also NJ has laws and one other state (don't quote me on that though). But yes, you have a point. They aren't technically protected. That means hundreds of child actors are still not protected to this day. But those actors don't have parents that are Kate Gosselin so I guess their lack of protection is ok.

lurkeyhere said...

Interesting you should mention the Osmonds, because George Osmond left his own job to manage his kids' careers. I don't know that they ever performed in a state of undress, but they were exposed to some unsavory showbiz types.

indianprincess said...

My take on reality shows in general is they are entertainment. I started watching Jon and Kate plus 8 because you have this wife who is dramatic about every little thing who has 8 children. Kate makes my husband and I laugh when she's so OCD. I don't think that show would be so popular if Kate wasn't Kate. The show would be so boring if she was like... Jodi.

merryway said...

I feel DENSE in a big way for not having realized this. There's a forest somewhere in those trees.
For some reason, I was just thinking along the lines of the children not being considered actors because they're in a reality show.
So Jon and Kate are taking the heat because there are no laws in place.(IMO)
Now that I realize this, it seems petty to take on one show instead of all them. They should call it what it is, the national sport of mom bashing.

JusRobin said...

Hello all I am JusRobin! Thank you all for reading and for those of you who liked it! I appreciate it more than you know and for those of you who think I have monitary motives or others of the sorts, I appreciate your comments as well! Thanks for stopping by! That's all the time I'll spend on that! Now to the goods Nina I appreciate the plug and the link and everything, I just have opinions and love to hear others. To Fanny Said " Flavor flav is where you draw the line" Thanks for making me feel worse! LOL I know I know he didn't deserve the plug in my Hub/Blog but I needed him to prove my points, but you're right the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Now as Far as Jon & Kate go, it really does displease me to see the extreems that people are going through to dislike them, Which was ultimately the reason for my HUB) but it also pleases me to know that it's not phasing the family in the least bit, and as long as there are supporters out there like "us" then they'll be fine!

Well like I said I appreciate everyone's everything, and if there is anything that I can do for any of you please feel free to let me know! But, please keep in mind, that I'm just a young women, with big opinions, nothing that I say or state is the gospel to the world it's only the way i see it! Thanks again! CYA Round!?

Linda said...

Merryway -

I think that you are right about this. For instance, if a child entertainer's earnings are made in Tennessee for instance are their earning protected?

I think that there are two separate issues here. One issue is important and should be seriously examined: child labor laws protecting all kids in the entertainment industry especially reality television.

In my opinion, the other issue borders on petty and that is the sport of mom bashing of which the target du jour is Kate Gosselin.

merryway said...

One little girl I knew was in a major film at age 7 or 8 that wasn't filmed in CA. I remember her mom telling me they lived on that for a long time. At that time she was newly divorced and not getting child support.
Now I'm wondering why all the other states don't have Coogan's law when so many other shows are not filmed in CA. I guess only the SAG children have any sort of protection. I am sorry to be slow in catching up to what apparently everyone else knows.

JusRobin, I enjoyed your writings. Thanks for putting it out there to share.

Not to fan the flames on the nudity issue, but just to show how silly the argument is:
A friend brought some 60s/70s magazines over today and we were having fun looking at them.
One is Life December 1971. On the cover is cute little girl(?) maybe 16 – 20 mos or maybe 2, it's hard to tell in that group. She is in all her naked glory. She's in a garden setting and squatting a low wall exactly like a potty shot. It might be a small concrete pond cause she's wet and has little leaves in her hair. The cover topic was children.

MCB said...

Keep stopping by, Robin. I enjoyed your blog! :-)

Anonymous said...

The 60's and 70's were more private times. No internet. I bet more people have visited this site than all the people who may have read that magazine. Peoples prespectives have changed and so has our world. We can't even let our kids play in the neighborhood without first checking the "sexual offender" site. We now keep up with our children through different devices such as GPS. It used to be our Mom's voices yelling our name out the front door telling us "supper was ready". Showing children naked has never ever been appropriate. I may be a prude, but my child is safe thus far. Showing a child poop and pee is degrading and creepy. I like the kids they are cute, but I think it's time to stop the madness and let's get a once a year update. They are not actors, they are children who need to be protected not exploited.

Anonymous said...

The Osmonds were just that " The Osmonds" they were taught to be a "show" and showcase their talent as well as paid for their efforts. The Gosselin kids fate was decided the day Kate found out she
was pregnant with the 6. Their only talent was a replicating cell. They never asked for this. Not at all.

merryway said...

Anonymous said...
The Osmonds were just that " The Osmonds" they were taught to be a "show" and showcase their talent as well as paid for their efforts. The Gosselin kids fate was decided the day Kate found out she
was pregnant with the 6. Their only talent was a replicating cell. They never asked for this. Not at all.
-----------
In the beginning the Osmonds were not paid, originally the money was to fund missionary work. How do you know the kids were individually paid while under age? Of course there are differences, but I find them more similar than what you are stating.

Anonymous said...

The "Osmonds" are 40 an over and have had their share of heartache. Marie had been molested, fought depression and an eating disorder her whole life. Either way, paid or not, it really affected her. It wasn't until recently that she felt that she could put the pieces together. She is trying to start her life all over again at almost 50.

The children who are required to work for the good of the family in a public forum should be legislated. All Children...