Thursday, 3 April 2008

Kevin Spacey agrees with me!

I have a sister who loves reality TV. I don’t. I find it depressing and downright boring. I really would prefer to watch paint dry.

Reality TV is a subject on which my sister and I will always clash. Therefore, since our last bust-up over How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? it’s a subject we’ve agreed to avoid.

She’s an aficionado (and I sort-of respect her for that). Reality TV is her preferred viewing. She watches X Factor, Pop Idol, Wife Swap, Celebrity Love Island, I’d Do Anything, and countless shows I’ve never heard of.

She involves herself with a passion; agreeing or not with Simon Cowell, hating Sharon Osborne, defending this or that contestant, shocked at what a certain family feeds their children, appalled at whom Sir Alan Sugar did or did not hire as his new Apprentice.

And she believes it is real.

Our fall-out over ‘Maria’ occurred after I read an article when the show first aired, which happened to mention the writers. My sister would not accept it was even partly scripted. Nor would she accept that the TV portrayal of the process is not how auditions take place in the real world, and that her enthusiasm to see the winner perform in Andrew Lloyd Webber's West End production of The Sound of Music, was really the whole point of the show; the reality, in this case, of reality TV.

So I was pleased when Kevin Spacey, actor and artistic director of the Old Vic, said this: "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? was a 13-week promotion for a musical, on a public-service broadcaster. I thought that was crossing the line."

Here, here!!

But then I read something on Meg Cabot’s blog:

… one third of people aged 100 or older watch reality television. One quarter of them watch MTV or music videos, and some even surf the web and use an iPod.

Curl up on the couch. Watching reality TV is the key to long life!


John said...

Because as we all know…the key to long life is a good sense of humor.

Eamon said...

I think that some reality TV (i.e The Apprentice) is just a bit of junk food. Sometimes you just want to put your feet up, relax, and get your chops stuck in. But if you do it too often it can be bad for your health.
But certainly I think there is lots of reality TV which is just bad for your health even in the minutest of quantities.

Mary said...

John: Spot on!

Eamon: You're right. And I think for people like my sister it’s strangely addictive -- definitely not good for their health.


Hey, Mary! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

My two cents: I hate "reality" TV. I am not apologetic about that dislike. If I want reality, I'll watch a nonfiction show--something in the home improvement, educational, travel, or historical realm.

Reality TV reminds me of those "memoirs" and "biographies" that have recently caused uproars due to the mixing of fiction with fact, so that the reader doesn't know where fact ends and fiction begins.

Mary said...

Good point, Keanan! A lot of reality TV occupies that murky area, presenting itself in a pseudo-factual way.

In UK bookstores, there’s now a Painful Lives section, filled with “memoirs” and “biographies”. I can’t even stand to catch sight of the sign!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the reality television thing. It does nothing for me. It's not even really realistic. As for Meg's quote, I read, that, too, and my thought was that a pretty high percentage of them probably also wear dentures and Depends, so does that mean that I should wear them now in order to prolong my own life? (Sorry. Ever since I took statistics in college, I am the biggest skeptic of statistics ever.)

Mary said...

Booklady: You’ve made me realise that people over 100 could not have watched reality TV before the age of 80 -- and it certainly didn’t exist when they were our age!

Wearing dentures and Depends in order to live longer is a truly hilarious thought!!! :)

Barrie said...

Isn't there a glass of red wine in there somewhere too? :)

Mary said...

LOL, Barrie! How on earth did we all forget THAT?