The REAL Problem with Reality TV

I admit it – I am a total reality TV junkie and I can live with that knowledge. Until this weekend. Let’s just say I got a bit more reality than I bargained for.

First, there are a lot of questions I’d love to ask a producer who’s worked in this sector. You can’t help but wonder what these “characters” parents think of them. I mean, really, ever seen Oxygen’s Bad Girls? The whole time I’m watching an episode, I’m thinking to myself, “Girl, if I was your momma? I’d beat you up one side and down another.” Their behavior is so far out in left field and you know there’s a mom somewhere out in the Midwest who’s dreading the next morning at the office after the whole world’s just witnessed her daughter strip down on a bar in some seedy lounge. But that’s not what this is about.

This weekend, I could find nothing on TV. I thought about watching Water for Elephants, and I will at some point, but I have a feeling it’s going to make me cry. So, I’m plundering through Cinema Plus on DirectTV and see a

Handsome as all get-out but definitely will make you blush. Or grab your Rosary.

reality show on Showtime. The description doesn’t really tell a whole lot about it, but it’s clear it follows a group of men who are gigolos. Really, truly “sure enough” gigolos. I figure, eh, why not? Let’s see what their egos dictate. So I record a couple of episodes. The first one I watched was clearly an episode in the middle of the season. I’m watching it, a little fascinated by the collective mindsets of these men and how they react to their female clients.  And then….it happens. The camera flashes to one of the appointments. The whole…hmm….how to say this….the whole….well, the whole thing. Nudity and all. Soft porn.  I know I’m only about 20 seconds into this as my mind is processing what’s on the TV and then it occurs to me. And I’m scared as hell…

…I also watch Long Island Medium. And I believe those who’ve passed before us are always right here with us.  The star of the show, Theresa Caputo, makes me laugh and like I said, I think those we love are always right here, just in a different form.

So as I’m reaching for the remote to change the channel (at this point, I’d be perfectly happy with that stupid football game between LSU and Alabama) it occurs to me – if I truly believe our loved ones are right here with us, then that means my Maw Maw Nellie is probably trying to figure out how to thump me upside the head for not having sense enough to figure out what I was recording. Or maybe not. She was the one who told me that sex was like candy and that once you had it, you always wanted more.  She was great like that – didn’t matter what we wanted to talk about, nothing shocked her and she was never critical with us. She just told it like it was, with no apologies, and loved us through it all.

And that, my friends, is the real problem with reality TV. Let’s just say Nurse Jackie and Homeland are still the only two Showtime shows I have on auto-record.


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