Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dear Reality TV

Dear Reality TV,

You've betrayed my trust. Again. Yes, I know I am foolish for trusting your shady ways. I know that your episodes are contrived and your scenes are scripted. Yet, you still call yourself "reality", and in my eagerness, I believe you. That's right, I believed you back when I watched "Newlyweds". I even bought the DVDs. Don't tell anyone that. I was so happy to see a Hollywood couple married and in love. I just knew they were going to be role models. Not.So.Much. When I found out Jessica & Nick were divorcing, it really upset me. I threw away the DVDs and swore off Hollywood. I canceled my subscription to "In Style" and stopped going to movies. That left me with... TV.

And you struck again. I got caught up in American Idol, Project Runway, Top Chef, So You Think You Can Dance... and the list goes on. These shows treated me right. No one's life was terribly altered by your schemes. Sure, people lost game shows about singing and fashion, but in the end, everything was OK. I began to slowly dip my toes into more serious reality shows. I got hooked on a little show you may know: "John and Kate Plus 8". You really had it in for me with this show. For two years, I watched, I laughed, I cried. But I always cried out of happiness. I loved their kids. I longed for the newest episodes to pop up on my DVR. I recommended the show to friends. I thought, "They are a great family. They are showing what it is like to be devoted to family and make the best of a tough situation. They are Christian parents and have a strong marriage." But that was just what you wanted me to think... wasn't it?

So recently, amidst plentiful negative press surrounding Jon & Kate, I have held fast, saying, "Those are just tabloids! They are doing fine! They will never break up. Don't say that about Jon & Kate!" Well, reality TV, my words were worthless. Last night, I settled in with a delicious dinner and the season premiere of Jon & Kate. From the moment the show started, I hated it. It felt weird. Terrible. Awful. Depressing. I actually said to Brent, "Turn this off!" It was horrid. It was far worse than I thought. Their family is falling apart before our very eyes on cable TV. And you, reality TV, were gleefully cheering from the sidelines and handing Kate Kleenex as she sobbed on camera about her marriage falling apart. REALLY?! Do we really need to see this? My stomach sank. I was wrong. They are not perfect. They are not even fine. Here's where I REALLY have a problem with you, reality TV.

Not only are you NOT reality, but you make the stars of your shows feel as if their filmed life actually IS reality. You create a warped reality both for the people on the show and the people watching the show. I know that nothing can be perfect, but I really wish you wouldn't portray that, only to dash our hopes with a horrible, tear soaked episode. Now, I know it's not all your fault. There ARE the stars of the show to blame... what are they thinking? Jon & Kate totally bought into the false reality that their show gave them. Kate loves the fame, the makeup, the clothes, and the book tours of her new famous life. She loves them so much she is willing to sacrifice her family. That is not OK. Jon, on the other hand, has become overwhelmed by his new life, so he has decided to run off and leave his family. Are you kidding me?

Last night's episode was a sober reminder to me that satan is hard at work to destroy every good thing God has given us in life. No, I'm not talking about you, Reality TV. But the shows you air are about life and marriage and family, and satan is certainly trying to destroy all that. I can no longer watch your shows and think of them as an escape. I now have to think about the REAL reality behind the shows.

I'm tempted to give you up all together. But I know that my boycott alone will not bring down your multi-trillion dollar empire. So I will probably keep watching. Maybe. But don't disappoint me again. Please. Thank you.



Wendy said...

I am right there with you sista! I loved that show! It was so bad I actually felt ashamed for watching!

Marisa Frizzell said...

I totally agree- I finally watched it this weekend and was SO SAD. Man...it's amazing what a little fame can do to a family.

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