When Keepin’ It Real Goes Wrong

The modern world is drunk on reality TV.  We’re hell-bent on anointing faux-celebrities for every vertical – from crab fishing to hair styling.  While certain cultural categories have always fostered industry champions (think chef Jacques Pepin), do we really need to forcedly crown a Hulk Hogan for every profession?

Or more accurately, a Giuseppe Franco?

The answer is no.

I admittedly enjoy Top Chef, but before the show launched, there was already a competition for culinary respect and admiration.  It was called the restaurant business.

These days, many of our “informational” TV channels are encroached by the ominous, creeping edge of idiocratic shadow.  Even the History Channel is reaching out to reality TV lemmings with Top Shot, which premiered June 6:

Apparently, even marksmanship requires an uncomfortably forced storyline.

Firearms have been around since the 12th century AD.  Marksmanship has been around nearly as long.  Why bastardize it by squeezing it into the reality TV mold?  You could do so much more for the audience with a brief history lesson and a touch of creativity.

It gets worse with Nat Geo’s Repossessed.  That’s right – a show that glamorizes the Repo Man.

You know, they had something like that in the early ’90s:

Wake me up when someone debuts Next Top Trash Collector or Dancing with the CraigsList Hookers.


4 responses to “When Keepin’ It Real Goes Wrong

  1. I’m all for Top Shot, and here’s why.

    The History Channel has run plenty of historical documentaries about the development and use of firearms. If you like, you can even order the complete series “Tales of the Gun” on DVD.

    However, these shows were never anything more than niche programming aimed at a small demographic of gun dorks and history nerds.

    For the first time ever, there’s a show on TV that not only portrays firearms use in a positive light, but is also geared toward holding the interest of people who don’t have an obsessive interest in shooting and firearms.

    The ratings on the show aren’t bad, either, hovering around 2 million viewers per week. I guarantee you, those numbers are a lot higher than any of the other firearms-centric tv shows that have aired on History.

    Ultimately, the show is a positive thing because its pop-culture framework will help to mainstream shooting and gun ownership, and with a bit of luck, hopefully some of those viewers will decide to get off the couch and attend some local shooting matches themselves.

    • Certainly, there are two sides to every story, and I see your point. From the pro-gun perspective, this show will definitely raise awareness among the general public. My gripe, however, is not pro/anti gun, but the fact that we have to jam any topic into this reality TV mold to get attention. In a non-idiocratic world, their gun docs (or any topic doc) would have fared better than its reality TV counterpart.

  2. Pingback: Proud Mary « The Idiocratic Post

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