I am like the rest of the world and I do like some reality shows. But yesterday my heart ached when I learned of the suicide of one of the husbands of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I didn’t watch the Beverly Hills show much. I just couldn’t get into that group of women or their lives or all of their cosmetic surgery. But underneath all of that, they’re still human. And while the couple was in the process of divorce, I am sure she had feelings for him and they had a child together. And my heart hurts for that family. Did reality tv do that to them? Or would it have happened eventually? It’s so sad. I just can’t fathom telling their little girl about the death of her father. That little girl deserved both her parents, whether they were together or not. I don’t care if her parents were nice people or not; they were still her parents.
When reality tv first started years ago on MTV it was a sociological experiment. “7 strangers, picked to live in a loft in NYC…” And there were ups and downs and there were fights and there were hugs. But the people worked to understand each other. I remember Kevin and Julie screaming on the streets of New York and him calling her a racist because she was white and from the South. I remember being outraged and angry and wanting to go to New York and scream at him. But in the end they listened to each other and they did care about each other.
I remember Pedro Zamora in San Francisco. I was young and didn’t know how I felt about homosexuality, but I knew I cared about this man who was trying to tell the world his story. He touched my heart in a way I can’t explain. MTV brought to light some of the most groundbreaking and important social issues of the times. They needed to be heard and seen. I needed to see Pedro. I needed to hear his story. I needed him to touch my heart.
Today’s reality shows are nothing more than a form of entertainment for entertainment’s sake. You don’t really learn much except the wealthy think they are entitled to do and say anything they please. Isn’t that what we all thought about them anyway? Did I really need a show to point that out to me? Today’s reality shows don’t have a real premise other than ratings. MTV started out with a dream and a goal. Now The Real World is just like any other reality show. There’s fighting, sex, drinking, and drugs. Great. Isn’t that what our youth needs to see?
So where are the redeeming qualities of reality shows today? Does the public only want to see fighting? Is there anything wholesome left in this country that is worthy of being shown on reality tv? It seems like every family that does a reality show is doomed to fail. Look at Jon & Kate plus 8. Now it is just Kate plus 8. It’s just a sad commentary of what society has come to.
The one show that I find that touches my heart is Ruby. It’s the story of Ruby Gettinger and her battle with weight loss. People talk about her like she is a dog. Maybe she has succumbed to fame but she is still a nice person and she can still make me laugh and cry with her ups and downs.
Reality shows can show good things, but unfortunately they show what the majority of the public wants. I wish that a larger group of the public had bigger hearts. I wish they wanted more positive things. I think we have let negativity consume us in every facet of our lives and it really shows. It makes me sad.