“Real-ity TV”

It took me a month or two, but I finally watched (more like stumbled onto) the episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” where Kanye proposed to Kim and I must admit, it left me feeling all mushy and touchy-feely inside. I’m sure a lot of you saw it (there’s no need to form here, I watch it every once in a while, laughing at shallow stupidity is good for the heart) and felt the same way.

After the initial euphoria passed the next thing that popped in my mind was the ridiculousness of Kanye’s proposal. Don’t get me wrong, it was sweet and romantic (Ugh!) but I found myself thinking: This dude has money, that’s why he can hire a bloody orchestra. With fireworks. And I think he also paid for a whole football stadium. That’s a right a whole freaking NFL stadium! Just for himself and Kim and her family.
Even if he looked like Shrek and she didn’t already have his child; from what I’ve seen of the show, she’ll probably still have “tearfully” cried Yes! And then I thought; this is what some ladies see – because let’s face it more ladies watch reality TV than guys, I don’t have to bring out any graphs or pie charts to prove it. Just go out into the street and ask – and their expectations from a brother go through the roof.

Do I have a beef with Kanye for being rich? Hell no! He’s worked hard for it, he can do whatever he feels like with it. But the thing with reality tv is this, it’s not “real” (most shows are generally scripted to push up viewership and ratings) and it usually has no bearing on the lives of the people who watch it.

“Keeping up with the Kardashians”. Without being insulting, is the shallowest (I know this word doesn’t exist but I’m exercising literary license here) reality tv show I have seen. Its painfully unrealistic and every time any of the characters completes a sentence, I find myself either laughing hilariously or shaking my head in sheer bemusement and sometimes disgust. But it’s popular because it’s fantasy. Something most of us wish for but don’t have.

I have no problem with it being popular because it has entertainment value and who knows, their real lives are probably not all the same we see on tv. But I do have a problem with the viewers who forget that despite its “reality” tag, it’s still just entertainment; and so they begin to take real life cues from these shows and their “stars”, making real life decisions based on what they saw so and so star do on so and so episode of so and so tv show.

For example no matter the level of “success” of her kids or even herself it’s impossible to convince me that the matriarch of the show Kris Jenner is a good mother. Has she made money? Oh yeah. In the bucket loads. Have her children been successful? Big yes. But there’s a difference between “success” and “good success”.

The Bible talks about “blessings that add no sorrow”; Kris is separated ( if you read between the lines, the success of the show was a major factor behind the separation), Khloe is divorced ( I guess the show “Khloe & Lamar” is officially dead), Kim is married for the third time (third time’s lucky, fingers crossed) with that famous sex tape and probably the world’s second shortest marriage (behind Britney Spears) in her repertoire , while Kourtney is carrying the third child for her baby daddy; did I forget to mention Kendall Jenner who just turned 18 by the way promptly celebrated by doing a topless photo shoot?

I don’t know about you ladies but if I were a woman there’s no way in hell I’m taking motherhood advice from Kris Jenner. Not based on the evidence.
If my mama caught my sister doing a topless photo shoot, no matter her age, when she was done with her, chastity will take on a whole new meaning.

I’ve used this show principally because it’s high profile and has a huge amount of followership. There are a couple of others out there, you know them.

I do have one question though; why is there never a reality tv show that features just poor people or ok, even just regular mid class folks who are hustling daily? that’s about as real as it gets.
There is an abundance of “reality” production value in Warri where I live. I guarantee you will be entertained and instructed at the same time. When you’re done with an episode of for example: “Warri: Land of The Sharp and The Brave” shot in Igbudu market, you will walk through life with your eyes wide open and your head level.

Instead EVERY show is about celebrities who are already multi millionaires, and who cannot seem to find better ways to spend their millions.
I once saw an episode of “Ice loves Coco” where Coco, Ice T’s wife was creating a daycare for pet dogs. Let that sink in for a minute. A DAYCARE FOR DOGS! Poodles, chihuahuas and other things like that. Words fail me to describe how I felt when I saw it. Now how does this impact the life of the average Nigerian watching it? What’s “real” about that?
When it’s done with celebrities as cast it’s called “Reality”, when something similar is done with poor people it becomes a “Documentary”.

Enjoy reality tv, just remember when you remove the so-called “reality” it’s still just tv.
Ariel Ugorji

Ok so you thought my rant made sense or you thought I’ve got a few screws loose. I’d still love to hear from you. Plug in in the comment box below and/or hit me up @arielugorji


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