I used to refuse to watch reality TV. Back in the day when I still thought I wanted to work in scripted entertainment, be it theatre, film, or TV, reality programming was an affront to everything I believed in. I thought it would put hard-working actors and writers, many of whom have it rough in getting any work at all in such a tough industry, entirely out of work. That is what we call Youthful Naivete. Years later, we can all see that reality programming has found its place in our hearts and video has not killed the radio star, so to speak.
I still don't watch MUCH reality TV, but today that's not because it Goes Against Everything I Stand For. It's just that most of it is crap. OK, some of it is crap and I don't have time for ALL the ones that aren't crap. I have a select few I enjoy among my scripted shows, mostly competitive ones or behind the scenes of businesses I find interesting. Shows about people who do something, whose lives are worth watching. For this reason, I have never seen a single episode of any of the Real Housewives shows.
You may say how can I know without watching? Commercials are meant to highlight the most interesting parts of a program and if that's the case, the commercials for these shows tell me they have nothing to offer me. These women are boring, useless, and selfish and from what I can tell there is nothing real about them. Real housewives have real problems and real lives. They are running a household, supporting a husband, often raising children, sometimes contributing to the community by volunteering. They are not shopping for thousand-dollar outfits, releasing pop singles, and getting in fights in restaurants that end in table-flipping. It bothers the HELL out of me that any of these women are called "Real" or "Housewives." It gives real housewives a bad name. Strangely, I think I'd be fine letting them exist and not watching if they just changed the name. FCC standards are a lot lower than they used to be, so you tell me why we can't just call the show "Famewhores of [insert city]" and be done with it.
"But they're so awful it's entertaining." No. Stop right there. You are part of the problem. You are giving them what they want. And if you keep doing that, they'll keep doing what they do. What's wrong with that? Well, nothing, I suppose. They keep behaving selfishly and getting paid ridiculously for it and you keep watching them do it and being entertained by it and pretty soon the type of behavior they exhibit isn't just on TV, it's commonplace in everyday life. Everyone becomes self-centered and entitled, but hey, if that's what we want on TV, maybe that's what we all really want to be like. Yeah, I thought so.
I myself am about to become a real housewife (lowercase intended). And I can guarantee you I'm not going to be out there seeking attention at all costs and thinking of my own needs first. I am going to be taking care of our household, supporting my husband, and most importantly, looking for a job so I can return to being a contributing member of society and not a whiny, vapid, selfish, waste of space.
(Apologies if any of the Real Housewives if it turns out they are decent people. As I say, I haven't seen the shows and I entertain the possibility that some of you might be quite lovely. If that's the case, please get yourself the hell off whatever installment of the series you are on. Bravo is making you look REALLY bad.)