the downside of reality tv

Last night, by pure chance, I ended up watching the 1999 film classic EDtv. For those unfamiliar with this film, here’s a brief overview:

TV Network, True TV, wants a new idea for a television show and producer Cynthia (Ellen DeGeneres) comes up with the idea to find the “average American” and have them filmed 24/7 and streamed live on television. It’s like the “original” look at a reality television show, with the except of The Truman Show. When the network started doing open auditions, brothers Ed (Matthew McConaughey) and Ray (Woody Harrelson) Pekurny make an impression on Cynthia, except the main interest is Ed. They soon start filming EDtv, which appears on the air 24/7 and while the first few days are a flop, things start to get interesting on day 3.

Without giving away the entire plot of the movie, things get hectic and Ed eventually wants out. When I was watching, I started to genuinely feel sorry for Ed, I thought about how much I would hate to have cameras following me around all the time; you would lose friendships and private conversations as there would always be cameras there.

Then I started to feel that I was being a tiny bit hypocritical. As I was reading last week’s FAMOUS¬†magazine, I was reading about the Kardashian’s and I started to get annoyed. Because it read, in part:

When Kim reportedly banned E! from screening anything to do with her divorce, network bosses hit the roof, which sources say is the real reason she cut short her Australian trip. “According to an insider over at E!, the channel is considering dropping [Kourtney & Kim Take New York],” reports MediaTakeOut.com. “In addition, the channel was planning to stop airing Kim Kardashian’s wedding special… Expect Kim and Humphries to reconcile, and break up officially once Kim’s show airs its final episode in December.

Why was I annoyed? Because I felt Kim was being unreasonable. When you allow your life to be filmed and then have sections of that aired on television, you can’t really just pick and choose what is allowed to be aired and what is not. The Kardashians have prided themselves on being honest and showing the good and the bad, good = the wedding, bad = the divorce.

Now I’m not saying that we need to see everything pertaining to the divorce, but to brush over it completely after having a four hour wedding special, seems to be a little bit ridiculous. Kim doesn’t need to go into the nitty gritty of the details but it’s unrealistic to just act as though the marriage and subsequent divorce never happened.

For me, this is the downside of reality television; you can’t allow complete access to your life and then decide all of a sudden that you don’t want a major event that has happened in your life to be aired. You can’t have it both ways, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The Kardashians have always showed everything, from nude-photo scandals, to unexpected pregnancies, weddings and births. So while I understand the want for privacy during such a difficult time, when you are famous for having your own reality television show, complete privacy can’t be promised.

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2 comments

  1. xxxMissVxxx · November 21, 2011

    i completely agree.
    The Kardashians invite cameras into their entire lives and to suddenly say “um no thanks,” seems really strange.
    In comparison, i feel sort of sorry for Demi and Ashton because although they’re quite public, they don’t invite the cameras to follow their every move.
    Not saying Kim deserves to not have privacy during her divorce but seems a tad ridiculous.

    • moniquefischle · November 21, 2011

      Demi and Ashton are completely different! And with Kim, obviously she does deserve some privacy, but she has a reality television show, you can’t decide to not show it at all!

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