Posts Tagged: Reality Television

Fake Hawaii: Your American Jungle

Remember when Alec Baldwin quit public life? While others were dissecting the tone and psyche behind his alleged farewell, I got hung up in the piece’s intro, where he talked about phoning a gay-rights group in Hawaii and learning about their torment at growing up in "traditional Hawaiian families"—"Macho fathers. Religious mothers." Others wouldn't have stumbled there, but I was born and raised in Hawaii, and this is the kind of stuff that I notice.

Not to single out Alec, because nearly everyone makes this mistake, but a Hawaiian is a native Hawaiian, a descendant of the Polynesian people who first inhabited the Pacific island chain; generalizing all [...]


Reality Television

The eternal, baffling conceit of all television is that it's showing you something real, when, more often than not, it's telling you how to think. This is especially the case now that producers have deranged the very notion of reality into a genre convention all its own. Viewers of the reality genre are expected to double down on the myth of televisual exposure, since reality TV purports to dig deeper into the human drama than mere entertainment fare does.


Don't Anyone Go On A Reality TV Show

"As fans know, 'Real Housewives,' with Mr. Armstrong’s collaboration, skillfully locked him into the role of an unstable killjoy. He was an intriguing character to watch, but no doubt a hard character to embody—or live with. Indeed, Taylor, his wife of six years, filed for divorce in July. Shortly before he died, Mr. Armstrong told reporters and friends that his myriad problems—financial, marital and personal—were aggravated, if not caused, by the show. This is not hard to see. He was playing a dour jerk and bankrolling the production that was meant to prop up his wife with his dwindling fortune. No wonder his finances and marriage fell apart." —Somehow [...]


Local Newspaper Struggles With Its 'Real Housewives' Crack Habit

Once you know that the reality TV "star" "phenomenon" is merely a set of nonsense network-packaged narratives, stories and characters deployed to capitalize on the news outlets that need "information" to sell their own products, particularly when those news outlets don't care that the information they present is actually the product being sold itself, and that the whole thing is a business ploy wherein publicity is made through various entities using other entities in a cash-funded reputation market, well then there's no point in treating reality TV as a cultural product. Sorry, Hank Stuever! You're right about reality TV, but you're just feeding the beast. Particularly since your [...]


Sarah Palin the TV Star Exposes Sarah Palin the Fake Hunter

Palin champions will hold up last night's "Sarah Palin's America" episode as proof of the candidate putting her money where her moose is. That is to say, after years of talking about being a hunter, Palin actually went out and shot something.

While much of the debate around the episode is an ethical one about a millionaire shooting a defenseless animal so as not to have to pay for meat, the real conversation should be about how the episode absolutely exposes Palin as a charade.