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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back to/from "Reality"

Most everyone has uttered the phrase “ I need a vacation” moments after their vacation has ended.  If you have every gone away with children, or through airports, or with a long  car ride, you understand it ain’t easy.  Throw in a couple of amusement parks and oversold flights and you get the drift.

So as we transitioned back to “reality” over the past few days our couch time included a healthy dosage of mindless entertainment.  More specifically,  the last few evenings were spent watching Kardashians, Eastwoods, America's Got Talent, and, gasp, the NBA.

This just in...  what the hell is this country watching???  Why are we green lighting these projects?  Are we not embarrassed?  

E! had a Kardashian marathon Memorial Day and like so many moths to the flame, we engaged.

The matriarch, Kris, drives erratically while frantically typing away on her mobile devices racing from one place to another.  Her husband, the former man (and Gold medal winner!!) Bruce Jenner goes ignored and disrespected as he transitions through menopause.

Their kids, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, Karthage, Kaos, Kronos, Kockblocker, Khan, and Rob all rome around LA having fancy lunches, signing divorce papers, shopping for homes, and mugging for any camera in sight.  

It's all a show.  Every last frame of it.

Income based on image.  Lifestyle based on facade.  

And apparently we cannot get enough of it.  Sadly, I must admit it kept me amused for a few episodes.

But why?  There is nothing redeeming about any of the "stars" on screen.  The one person who actually trained to become a World class athlete is ridiculed and cast as the shows Barney Fife.  The matriarch has some success due to marrying well many years prior.  And the child with the most fame has her generous posterior, caught on camera sexual escapades and absurdly brief marriage to thank.  They are all a vacuous mess in the oil spill that is reality tv.

The same can be said with Mrs Eastwood and Company.  Yes, Clint's wife has a reality show too.  Another West Coast Hollywood family blending families and has been hangers on in an attempt to cash in on the 15 minutes culture we sadly all crave.  Like Kelsey Grammer a few years back Clint seems to want to shut his spouse up and thrust her in the spotlight so she will stop nagging him about a bit role in his next film.  

You can almost hear his scratchy voice telling her "Go ahead...  call back that E! exec producer..."

Even the antithesis of mainstream, Howard Stern, has crossed over to the dark side.

Admittedly one of his biggest fans and a devoted listener, it hurt a bit last night watching him judge hack stand up comics, male dance revues, and ventriloquists for the lame and wholly un-original America's Got Talent.  Here Stern, Howie Mandel and the frozen faced Sharon Osbourne "X" those folks they deem unworthy or unable to fill a Las Vegas arena with their talents.   Quick, name me the past winners of this show.  Better yet, name me 5 of the American Idols.  Save for the outcome/payout this show is the Gong Show.  And Nick Cannon ain't no Chuck Berris.

A retread show looking for original talent.  The irony is too rich.

But would a network exec realize that?  Better, would they know what ironic means?  "I don't know what it is, but I can tell you when I see it."

It's all over your dial.  And there is no sign of a change.

It costs a lot of money to produce scripted television.  And it is far riskier to take a chance on a creative idea rather than a cheap, tried and true (lazy), money-making one.  Take a look at the budgets/revenues of Housewives of Wherever vs Mad Men for a hard truth.

So what can we do?

How about not watch?!

I know I am dumber for falling victim the past few days.

You can vedge out to far better.  Or, maybe even read a bit.  I know this great blog.

For tonight you can give the NJ Devils some love.  The NBA is as bad as the shows mentioned above. No drama.  Contrived storylines and overpriced "stars."  

The Guide predicts the Kings in 6...  but you never know.  Gotta love a final that pits a 6 seed versus an 8.  

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