Monday, June 13, 2011

Reality TV- really?

A while ago I had a random conversation with a 21 year old girl who had two missions in life: 1) live in Manhattan and find a weathly prince charming (need to note: that London wasn't an option as she had experience the WAG lifestyle in Liverpool so that was the UK done by her - I was shocked at how cruel life could be to my beloved city - but she obviously hadn't been to the best places) and 2) have her own reality TV series.

It got me thinking when did the world change? I understand that celebrities and the lifestyle that goes with it has been enchanting for years but the big reality TV boom has seemed to make it possible for wannabes, teen moms, formly fat people, c list celebrities to invent or re-invent themselves or shock horror actually build a career out of it. Think Kardashians and see how with a clever business sense you can rule the world.

I will admit that I too at my old age indulge in the reality TV hype - even if I am not in the age demographic for that specific programme. I had my own 2 mins of fame in MTV The Real World London - where all I did was giggle (such camera pressence not) and dance to later dubbed music that made my dance moves more resemble dad dancing (thanks MTV). But that was just a taste. The real interest kicked in much later, it all started by being stuck in a US hotel room. I was intrigued by programmes like 'My Super Sweet 16' (we moved out of the US before I could experience the thrill of driving my parents mad with the need for a super deluxe car, fabulous party - ideally with vast amounts of photographs of me looking ever so seductive at 16 naturally and the must have all ruling performer) and 'Laguna Beach'. Shortly after with the introduction of 'The Hills' I was hooked. I knew it wasn't real but I loved the atmosphere - the clothes, the bags, the drama and that only spread to 'The City' where the fashion is inspiring. I will admit it I think Olivia Palermo is a fashion asset and misrepresented in the ever so slightly scripted programme. But then came the Kardash franchise that just keeps spreading and I marvel at how far they have come. Let alone how far TV has come. I mean now if programmes like 'Jersey Shore' can lead to endorsement deals and other spin-offs that all feed into our need to see how the other half lives. Well who can blame young people of today thinking that this is the way to quick success. Here in the Netherlands TV makers have tried their hand at the formula only to realise the batter doesnt quite stick if you translate the ingredients. It is like a souffle that wont rise - sad but cut your loses and stick what your good at.

So I wander can reality TV inspire other ambitions that the quick rich plan. Recently Bethanny Frankel of the Real Housewives franchise (New York flavour) admitted her reason for joining the programme was entreprenurial. And good for her! Was it really so hard to admit that the business side is a real reason behind all these programmes that keep popping up. And be honest if you are going to open up your dirty laundry for the world to see - you might as well get something out of it yourselves!

So all those dreaming of celebrity I hope you have the goods to make and the right management to help get all there is to get out of it. But do consider other career options too - after all in the words of Heidi Klum - one minute you're in, one minute you're out...



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