Friday, August 19

The Reality of Reality TV

The news this week of the "real housewives" husband's suicide really threw me for a spin, I have to say.  I am a big "fan" of the franchise, I watch the shows religiously and participate actively in conversations about it.  The mega-dose of reality this week has me re-thinking my behavior.

Sure, I knew there was drama, no doubt about that -- these shows are in fact the new soap opera.  But I didn't realize the real pressure that these kinds of shows put on these folks, for our entertainment.  Yes indeed, the "cast" signs up for it, no doubt, and the issues are all there before the cameras show up.  And at this point, anyone on those shows should know what they are signing up for.

It's not the show's fault, nor is it our fault for watching ... but I'm not sure I want to see people unravel on tv.  It's not my brand.  When the shows first started, there was a lot of fun to them.  It was great to see different folks live their lives and go to parties and do their things.  But it's turning into a pressure-cooker and way too much anxiety.

It's not my brand to just sit and watch that.  And I'm not sure what brands would want to support it any longer either.  Is that why Abercrombie & Fitch is offering the cast of The Jersey Shore to NOT wear their clothes?  That may be another story unto itself, and more of a publicity stunt, but it is a statement of one brand not wanting to be defined or represented by another.  Will that happen with these housewives?

I'm not definitive on it yet, but it sure has me thinking.  Especially when I think of three kids who no longer have their dad.  Not sure I want to participate anymore.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect


  1. Expertly put Jim.
    I am not a fan of reality TV. I really only watched American Idol.. and this year.. did not watch at all. I don't know about anyone else,but I long for the good sitcom to come back... Well written shows like Cheers, Frazier or some great drama shows. Where has all the creativity gone???

  2. I'm not a fan of reality TV either--maybe it's because I'm a writer, and love a classic story, the nuance of the right word, the magic of editing, great lighting, music. QUALITY.
    But that's expensive to produce, and for the most part,reality shows are not.

    I understand the psychology of the voyeur, the lure of lifting the underdog, and of all the things that come with watching reality TV... BUT IT'S ENOUGH ALREADY!! I want more of what Anonymous wants. Jim, great subject to talk about... and you are good take a second look, especially in light of a 'real' husband taking his life.

  3. I wholeheartedly concur with you both .... I love watching creativity and good writing in action, and I miss it. We need more "Modern Family" shows! Have a great weekend. JIM