Thursday, February 27, 2003
Twenty years from now, as we look back on the culture of the early zeroes, and wonder if anything could possibly have a less fitting name than the so-called "reality show". When you can take a bunch of celebrities (another rant, coming soon), stick them in some random exotic locale, give them some incredibly contrived premise, and then call it a reality show, you know that Hollywood has totally and completely lost it. I'm sure there's some sort of technical definition out there somewhere explaining that "when the events of the program(3)(a)(see footnote J) transpire without the assistance of a script(see footnote M) and do not follow a predetermined course other than the whim of the producer, 'Reality'[Miii, definition 3] is considered to be taking place, and thus the program(3)(a)(see footnote J) may be classified as a reality show." Either that, or some grossly overpaid network exec heard the term somewhere, and was unable to come up with anything more original, so it stuck.
And for the first few of these, that term might have worked, but the latest crop of these have about as much reality as a WWE pay-per-view special. Because the networks don't seem to be able to come up with an accurate term to reflect the state of so-called reality shows, I would like to propose a new term for them: Fakeality shows. Since Hollywood seems determined to keep churning these things out left and right for the forseeable future (and quite possibly long after the fad has ended), we should at least have a more accurate term to describe them with.