Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Inspiration from Reality TV

With the continuous flood of bad reality TV shows that dominate network and cable television, I thought I’d blog about this sad topic.  Why?  Because there must be some new meaning in this antiquated topic of brainless television.

I find it unfathomable how these shows exist let alone how disturbing they are.  All these reality stars or celeb wannabes beg incessantly for attention, putting their pathetic lives on display and for what?  You guessed it...a feeding frenzy of mass proportions.  These shows feed the insatiable appetites of fame-starved reality show subjects.  They feed a sick amount of couch potatoes and even more so they feed the deep pockets of network/cable executives. 

Thanks, Bravo.
I’m curious about the reality TV icons; those star-obsessed freaks who hog up my television screen.  Talk about being caught in a "whirlwind of stupid." Is your life so remarkable that you have to have a camera in your face, capturing all the mundane or better yet staged moments in your life?  I'm in awe at times and not in a good way, I assure you.  Truthfully, I don’t watch much TV, but when I do, I cringe at all the reality shows.  Oh,  I've watched my fair share. Who  hasn't?  There’s just too many on the air for Christ's sake.  Will it ever end?  Probably not.  

So with all the repulsiveness that comes with reality TV, what can we gain from it as writers? Here’s the “meaning” and possible silver lining I was referring to earlier… characters my friend; flawed, ridiculous, unadulterated and cruel characters.  If you’re lacking inspiration in some of your characters or stories for that matter, try flipping the switch and tune into any reality show.  

I've found at least one positive aspect for reality TV.  Would you agree?  Whether it’s the Kardashians (please God - no more Kardashians), Jersey Shore, Bravo TV's Real Housewives (pick your city) or even a cooking competition, there’s almost always some facet that can inspire something with our writing…right?  

You tell me.  Do you use any of this crap for inspiration?  I sort of did with my Hallucinating Housewives flash fiction series.  What about you?

Mina B.


Michael Offutt said...

I have a theory as to why these shows are so popular. In modern times, we have developed a hedonistic society where every man and woman believes himself to be a celebrity. So these shows celebrate that. People watch them and can relate, thinking to themselves "this could be me." And "I'm attractive and beautiful and I should get my own show." I see it evident in everything. A co-worker today (for example) remarked that he was going to be an organ donor because he "had pretty eyes" and in the event of dying would want his eyes to be used by someone. A sacrifice yes...but so odd that he thinks of himself as pretty. The man is not gay. He's straight with three kids and a wife. Yet he preens himself like a peacock strutting around. I'm sure he wants a reality t.v. show all about him.

Stacy Henrie said...

So true - great flawed characters can be patterned from reality tv stars.

I like the reality shows with a purpose - like The Amazing Race, the X-Factor or America's Got Talent. Then you get all the conflict, character flaws, highs and lows but with a bit less drama. :)

Lydia Kang said...

Even the annoying reality shows can be fodder for our imagination. Like...like...for instance...ummm...well, maybe I can think of something later.

C D Meetens said...

I have to say I can't stand reality TV and avoid any programme, that even remotely falls under that category, like the plague. I'm mystified as to why it's so popular, but there must be something about it. If I ever figure it out, I'll let you know ;).

carla said...

Since I too avoid reality tv and games show I can't offer much of an informed answer.
I find them to be a bunch of back stabbing, lying, self centered people and there's too much of that in the real world to have to sit and watch them on tv. It's just not enjoyable.

carla said...

Sorry, after I read what I wrote, that sounds really cold and bad.
They would be good examples for flawed and cruel characters, like you said.

Mina Burrows said...

@Michael - That's disturbing about the guy you work with. Truly. Shallow too. And you have to work with him too. I cringe for you.

@Stacie - That's true. I like the comp shows too. It feels a bit more real than most. :)

@Lydia - I know what you mean. The entire notion of reality tv is perplexing.

@CD Meeten - Its sickening how its practically on every channel which is why I don't turn it on much. But I do like to watch the food challenges. #funstuff

@Carla - Those people have no filter period. I do hope it eventually dwindles, but I'm doubtful.