Caomhan’s had it with Reality TV

January 31, 2010

The human race is up shit creek… and it would appear they are in no need of a paddle. Chuck them a camera instead and watch them get knee deep in the dirt… providing there’s an offer of celebrity at the end.

Ever since Endemol, the gang behind Big Brother, removed the prerequisite of talent from becoming a celebrity, the common man (and I do mean common) has aimed for the stars and lined the gutter with his execrable attempts of surviving the initial 15 minutes.

From the inbred bleating of domesticated trailer trash on Wife Swap to the permatanned piss ants from Laguna Beach, where reality television once got you a peak behind closed doors, now its blown those doors away and put the windows in for good measure. There isn’t a rock unturned and dissected in excruciating detail as we surf the channels between TV dinners, in search of our next reality high.

From the classroom to the clinic, celebrities have sprouted from every profession to dispense their pearls of wisdom. They invade our homes (Kim & Aggie), deride our wardrobe (Trinny and Susannah) and tell us how to look good naked (Gok Wan).

We have television stations (E!), television shows (Entertainment Tonight, Expose) and television personalities (Davina McCall, Dermot O Leary, Fearne Cotton) all catering to our voyeuristic thirst. We have web sites (,, magazines (Heat, Grazzia, US) and gossip columns (Bizarre, Page Six, 3AM). But there is no smoke without fire, and no fire without coal and so we mine the very scrapings of the barrel to keep the pages turning, the channels flicking and the columns loaded.

We are caught in the vicious circle of real life… and it’s starting to spin out of control.

Rather than locking up crack-addled loons like Bobby and Whitney, we invite ourselves into their homes via VH1. Instead of letting them dry out in peace, we are there every 12 steps of the way at VH1 Celebrity Rehab.

Last year, the Dutch (who else?), held a contest where a terminally ill patient chose which one of the lucky contestants on a transplant list won the grand prize: her kidneys.

The show turned out to be a hoax, but the three contestants – though involved in the deception – were all on dialysis.

Where to next? Have we descended the final rung of the reality ladder? Or are there more steps to go? Beauty and the Bestiality? Carry on Camping…in Auschwitz? What will be the straw that breaks this brainless colossus’s back and send us scarpering into the loving embrace of intelligent programming?

Or in my case, Star Trek.


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