The Great Reality TV Divide: It explains so much


This felt like quite an epiphany when I thought of it several days ago — scale falling from my eyes and all that — but then I immediately realized it was perfectly obvious, and not in the least profound, so I didn’t post it.

But I did put it on Twitter yesterday, and received a little reinforcement there and on Facebook, so I’ll go ahead and share it:

I kept wondering why the problems with Trump — the fact that he must not ever be considered for even a split second to hold the highest office in the land — are not painfully obvious to everyone. What’s the cognitive barrier?

That question, and my puzzlement, had a certain flavor, and suddenly I recognized it. It’s the same confusion I have when I wonder why on Earth anyone can tolerate Reality TV.

I hated it from the first moment or two (and that’s all I could bear) I saw of MTV’s “The Real World.” All that false drama concocted and acted out with all seriousness by excruciatingly uninteresting, self-involved people. It seemed deliberately devised to make us all want to hurl.

And yet people watched it. And I still don’t get that, either…


8 thoughts on “The Great Reality TV Divide: It explains so much

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    There was one thing I DID enjoy having to do with “The Real World,” though: I liked the spoof SNL did with Norm MacDonald as Bob Dole. THAT was good…

    And unfortunately, I’m unable to find video of it…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Of course, Dan Akroyd was pretty awesome as Bob Dole, too.

      This is one of my favorite SNL skits of all time. ALL the performances were great — Dana Carvey as Bush, Akroyd as Dole, Al Franken as Pat Robertson, Phil Hartman as Kemp… all great.

      It was during the 1988 presidential campaign, back when voters were still sane and looked for qualifications…

  2. bud

    That’s like all people who enjoy war movies are warmongers. Brad you shouldn’t paint with such a broad brush, it is certainly a gross violation of even rudimentary rules of journalistic integrity .

  3. Phillip

    I don’t watch reality TV per se, but we did use to really enjoy watching The Soup, which boiled down the most ridiculous excerpts to a hilarious half-hour. A fun way to keep up with how nuts television had become, without actually having to watch the programs in question. I still can’t forgive E network for taking it off the air.


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