My friend, LC, and I were at it again this morning, lamenting the state of American television, which has been sharked to death by so-called reality shows.
What was making us happy? The fact that some networks are re-making some of our favorite TV shows (Dallas, Hawaii 5-0). This means two things:
First, we’ll have even more great shows to add to our must-see TV list that already has: “The Good Wife,” “The Closer,” “Burn Notice,” “Suits,” White Collar” and “Rizzoli and Isles.”
Second, it might hasten the demise of fake reality TV. The difference? “The Amazing Race,” a travel game show, is good reality TV.
Any “Housewives” show? Baloney.
Seriously, if cameras followed us around all day, they’d see carpet cleaners come and go with the dog barking the entire time, us sitting with piles of papers paying bills, us putting away groceries, which these women never seem to buy. They’d see real desperate housewives trying to fit 30 hours worth of into a 24-hour day.
“We are CEOS of our homes, and our children have ballet recitals, dance recitals, swim lessons,” LC said. “And that’s what we’re doing.”
Moreover, she and I are both working moms, so we’re among the women who run the house and run companies or work at full-time jobs.
We don’t know any housewives who walk around in designer clothes on soccer day or drink champagne every weekend – even though some could if they wanted to. But they don’t because they’re too busy dealing with real life. And real life is not loud, unless it’s the children, or boisterous unless a football game is on or the children are moving. We don’t do battle in heels.
“At what event have we ever attended have we seen two women go at each other in a fistfight?” LC asked.
Not one. Not ever.
Critics have panned reality shows for years, pointing out that they’re scripted, not spur-of-the-moment, that we don’t see the real stuff, just the horribly embarrassing stuff that makes the audience laugh at these women who think they’re stars.
But no amount of criticism is enough because these shows are taking up space for shows about real life, or shows that help us escape when real life is not funny or entertaining.
So here’s a tip for TV producers: give us drama and comedy and variety shows and reality game shows. But the fake drama? You can keep it!