Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tacky House and Food Revolution: Two Reality Shows that Perfectly Encapsulate Our Times

That is the premise of my latest post at When Falls the Coliseum-- that Style Network's Tacky House and ABC's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution are the perfect shows for our times. First two paragraphs:
It’s rare for a television reality show to perfectly capture the American cultural zeitgeist, except on those all-too common occasions when it actually does, which is frequently. These shows hold a mirror to our own reality (”reality” shows), by reflecting back to us who we are, what we’re doing, what are our shared interests. American Idol is a perfect microcosm of our culture’s pursuit of musical success (a “recording contract”), on which so many of our young, I-want-it-now-mp3-downloading children place so much importance. Then there is Survivor, which glorifies the reveling in the cut-throat world of deserted island back-stabbing in the pursuit of filthy lucre (”dirty money”), in the form of a $1 million prize. This is the type of greed typified by the current Goldman Sachs situation; I’m not sure of the specifics on that, but I know that a greedy win-at-all-costs attitude was the motivating factor.

Then there’s The Apprentice, which might just as well have been called The Show That Precipitated the Whole Bernie Madoff Scandal, since that is basically what it precipitated. Shows on VH1, such as Flavor of Love and Rock of Love teach our young women and girls to become sluts and whores, and even in some cases tramps, in the hopes of spending some time bedding rock and roll celebrities (see American Idol, above). These shows have fostered the current whore culture, where women don’t act like women, they act like whores, with their thongs sticking up over the tops of their low-riding jeans (if indeed they’re wearing any panties at all; very often they’re not, and photographed getting out of their limousines immodestly, on their way to shooting a career-making sex tape). The Real Housewives of series glorifies our consumerist culture by showing what becomes of the women begat by the VH1 shows — shallow, misbegotten old hags whose sole purpose in life seems to be merely to shop for shoes as a way of killing time between “cat fights” and botox injection appointments.
It has some decent laughs in it, I think. I get in a mention of the Krispy Kreme Double Down, and poke some fun at those columns that appear in publications like The New York Times in which the snobby stuck up writer tries to apply his own limited experience to everyone. Anyway.

You can read it all here.

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