I have an idea for a hit TV show. It's a 'can't miss.' It's copyrighted so don't try to steal it. The name of the show? "Bridezillas That Became Real Housewives That Raised Toddlers With Tiaras." Sure hit, right?
It's got everything that reality television needs. It has people we can make fun of and feel superior to (even though some of them are richer than us). And it's got toddlers being psychologically abused by self-absorbed mothers with the IQ of a cumquat (the mothers, not the babies).
Yes, this is reality television today. The highlight of each show is the inevitable rejection and heartbreak. It is the bachelor rejecting a woman who after spending six minutes in a hot tub with a man realizes that they were destined to be together. Until she gets rejected.
It is the singer who knows she has what it takes to be a star and has focused her life on this moment of the audition. The moment of audition was a better fantasy then reality. She gets rejected.
Reality television is merely human degradation for our entertainment. It is merely the celebration of failure for the sole purpose of making us feel superior to the slugs on Bridezilla. And it is the joy of allowing us to revel in how empathetic we all are as we watch these shows.
Perhaps there is no money to be made watching normal people. Perhaps the low cost of production and high ratings of many reality shows guarantees they will be here for a long time to come.
Perhaps sometimes we can take a moment to reflect on the thought that reality television celebrates human degradation. It makes us feel good by watching someone else feel bad. It makes us feel good watching people making fools of themselves. We are entertained as we shake our heads in disapproval and amazement watching a sixteen year old girl who is excited she can be on television, as long as she gets pregnant.
Feeling good by watching someone else feel bad is what bullies do in middle school. It is also the mindset that reality television allows us.