Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Favorite Things: Reality TV, The End (Oh, boy!)

We come to the end of my reality TV binge with the serious issue of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Yes, this poster says it all.

I find myself fascinated, appalled, puzzled, and irritated in various mixtures while watching this. I think part of my combined fascination and puzzlement comes from the endless series of media publicity surrounding this family of "reallity celebrities" (oxymoron!). Kim and her quest for "true love" before she's 30! Khloe and her battle with her family over her boyfriends! Kourtney and her baby-daddy (a term which I suspect is born from reality TV and simply sends shivers up my spine).

Like the rest of America, I ask myself: what makes the Kardashians worth a second glance?

I have no answer, but find myself watching episodes (again, at other people's houses) to see what nonsense and drah-ma Kris, Kim, Khloe, and the rest of the K-folks are perpetrating. I watch Bruce Jenner wander through his own home like a sleepwalker or someone who isn't quite sure what the heck is going on... I see bad choices, hyper(non)drah-ma perpetrated by Mama and Da Girlz, and simply wonder what makes them desperate to be media ho's, desperate to live every moment on camera, which apparently validates their existence.

Sadly, their averageness is the basis of their "celebrity": none of the Kardashians is more than a pretty face (except Kris, who is also a razor-sharp promotions and marketing force!). There isn't apparently any creative energy, intellectual drive, philosophical queries, or even humorous point-of-view. It is all about superficial looks and consumerism (several of the girls have owned/managed their own stores and Kim has fashion/perfume/merchandising contracts). The whole show suggests the audience could only be interested in a/ what these girls look like styled (not natural), b/ who they date/sleep with, c/ how they fight amongst themselves over the bad behavior of family or baby-daddies or husbands (not the same thing), and d/ what they buy/sell/promote.

I cannot suss it out, and perhaps that is why I watch. How can something with so little substance hold my attention? What does that suggest about me? One major thing: I don't need cable TV so I can spend more time with this nonsense.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your essay, so funny and so right.
    Since a few years we got the reality show "I'm a celebrity... Get me out of here on German TV.
    Whe watched it for the first time and did for the whole time the "show" run.
    The weekly magazine "Der Spiegel" (The Mirror) published a study about the phenomenon, that in large part the viewers didn't belong to the lower class. it was incredible, HOW much of the Intelligenzija expressed their enthusiasm
    for the spectacle afterwards.
    I would say, a bit of bad taste from time to time spices life up.


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