So Joe Millionaire narrowed it down to three this evening. Despite some heavy camera work suggesting who might be eliminated, I guessed wrong.
This is my first reality show experience. I skipped all the Survivor shows. I just couldn’t bring myself to care about whether or not any of those people got off the island/out of the desert/away from the jungle. American Idol…please. As if an A&R rep is actually going to release an album by one of those contestants. Or it could happen.
Reality TV reminds me more than anything of Heisenberg. But do you think anyone involved has ever contemplated the concept that by observing the event they are, by their very observation, changing the nature of that event?
See, I think that the "reality" in these programs is not only not-real (as in not spontaneous and unplanned) but it is even less genuine than scripted drama. With scripted drama, at least, the actors are making a real effort to make the audience believe in the characters and their motivations. With this type of television, what the actors are trying to make us believe is in their very existence. There is no collective fiction that we are entered into a joint work of art. There is no nod-and-wink process of the leap of faith that is the play.
What does it say about us as a society that we need to have our spontaneity plotted out for us? Whatever it is, it is also being manifested in our desire to control nature. Take a close look at the next SUV commercial you see. Nature is wild but “man” in his mastery rolls in and controls it for the brief period he needs it and once he leaves it goes back to being wild, but slightly better because of contact with humanity.
When will our culture reach the point when it is all an illusion? When it’s all manufactured in little image factories somewhere? All too soon I fear.