The Problem With Reality TV

Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian, left, leave a restaurant in Paris, Thursday, May 22, 2014. The gates of the Chateau d
Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian, left, leave a restaurant in Paris, Thursday, May 22, 2014. The gates of the Chateau de Versailles, once the digs of Louis XIV, will be thrown open to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and their guests for a private evening this week ahead of their marriage. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

Just like every teacher I know, I was thrilled that the summer had begun. I had two months off and was getting paid for it. I had made so many plans for this day. Of course I was going to eat healthy, exercise and read, but the highlight was... I was going to watch so much TV!!!! I usually don't get to do that while I'm working, as I'm so busy with my corrections and all the other things that teachers do. With two boys and one girl, we are either watching sports or Mythbusters during the school year.

So today was the day I would watch uninterrupted television for hours. I warned my kids and told them that the TV belonged to me for the next couple of hours, so they should find something else to do. Of course they went back to their cell phones and iPods. I made myself a hot cup of coffee with my special french vanilla creamer and I sat on the couch with the remote in my hand. I was so excited!

As I turned on the TV, the first thing that came on was Adam Levine talking about his acne issues. I tried to figure out what that was about, then realized it was an infomercial for Proactive. I really didn't feel like watching close up pictures of zits so I changed the channel.

The next channel had this little girl who had an interesting family, to say the least. The show was called, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. It was absolutely ridiculous. The girl was very cute, but the show was just horrific.

So I changed the channel again and came across a show called Naked and Afraid! People were walking around and trying to survive while they are butt naked, do I need to say more? So I really want to ask the producers of the show, does the camera man have food and clothes while the people in front of the camera are sick, naked and hungry??

I was disappointed by this time, so I got up to get some chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup. I then decided to turn the TV on again, and guess what was on? Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I actually sat there with my mouth open while I watched it for a few minutes. Many questions came in my mind while watching that show. Do people today really talk like that? Do normal people wake up looking like those girls? Why are these girls so famous? They are gorgeous women don't get me wrong, but they seem so unreal. Obviously underneath all that makeup and gifts from plastic surgeons, they are really smart girls and know what sells.

I was sure that OWN network would have something meaningful on, and I saw that Iyanla was on. I love her, so I decided to watch Iyanla - Fix My Life. It was actually disturbing to watch couples being humiliated by one another and Iyanla in order to solve their problems.

After watching for a few minutes, I started to think, What is wrong with us as a society? Why are most of our "Reality Shows" showing people that are willing to make a fool of themselves? Do we watch them because we are fascinated by their fearlessness when it comes to letting it all hang out, or is it because we can laugh and make fun of them? I am not sitting here and being judgmental about anyone. I'm just giving my opinion. When I asked around, my friends confessed that they mostly watched reality shows. With shows like Duck Dynasty, Life With Latoya, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Return to Amish, My Five Wives, etc. what are we saying to the next generation? Are we telling them to laugh and ridicule other people because they choose to live differently than us?

What is our fascination with realty television? Why can't we watch documentaries or shows that teach us something like America with Lisa Ling, instead of finding satisfaction in seeing other people's dysfunctional lives? I feel like it's not even reality TV; these people seem so well-rehearsed, they know what they will be saying and wearing. These on-screen reality stars obviously understand that they can make money not by working hard or gaining an education, but by becoming an unreal reality star. The formula to a good reality show is real life people trying to act like themselves, and the sillier they look the better.

After thinking for a while I decided to stick with what I knew -- I watched reruns of I Love Lucy!!!