Before this season, the only television she watched was the Sunday night HBO line-up which was cool because I enjoyed that too, but this whole stop everything on Thursday while I watch the Real Housewives has me perplexed.
However, I have found a certain compromise in our Thursday night domesticate situation. While she watches the Real Housewives, I follow the Twitter conversation on my Tweetdeck and laugh hysterically.
But for the record, I find the show to be deplorably cringe inducing. The show is shot through with every reprehensible, overblown stereotype—NeNe the outspoken sista’ girl, Kim the gold digger, Dwight the fabulous and outrageous homosexual. And not to mention that most of the "Real Housewives" are not wives at all and a couple seem dangerously close to losing their houses altogether.
From what I understand, though, this show has received monster ratings. In addition, the show has made minor celebrities out of all the women involved. But I must ask the question, “What have these women done to so command our attention?” And even further, “Why have reality shows become so popular?”
By this time everyone must realize that reality shows bear little semblance to reality, right? I mean some of the most popular reality shows are so blatantly scripted, and if the scripting is not plain, by the time the raw footage goes through the whole editing process, we are left simply with the director’s version of reality. And this version is the most sensationalized, outrageous version the raw footage has to offer.
But we know this, yet we continue to watch. Why?
Are we all simply voyeurs excited by the misfortune and dysfunction of others? Or could it be perhaps the real reality of our own lives is so absolutely dull and boring and without meaning that we clamor for an invented reality to put it all in perspective for us?
Or the better answer might be that reality television has created a cult of personality of sorts. They have managed to posit manufactured, overblown images of reality that simultaneously repulse us even as they lure us in. Our curiosity overcomes our better judgment, and we continue to tune in week after week to see what instance of dysfunction will occur next and how it will be dealt with.
We see in the outrageous personalities people from our own lives, some of whom we even despise, and before long, we develop a certain affinity with the characters.
And lastly, despite the hyperbole, the chaos and unpredictability of that reality bears some semblance to the chaos and unpredictability of our own reality, and we find solace in the seeming normality of it all.
But the danger arises when we begin to actually believe and believe in that reality, and we adjust our own reality in accordance. We then allow ourselves to become cartoonish caricatures of caricatures; our lives then become the real representations of a very false, very manufactured, very ridiculous, unreal reality.
Are you a fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta or reality TV? Why or why not?