One doesn’t have to watch Reality TV Shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Apprentice US & UK, Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore, Made in Chelsea and Big Brother to recognise how contrived, amoral, vulgar and corrupting they all are; one merely has to see the intrusive trailers for these programs on TV.
In The Beginning: BIG BROTHER
It all started in 2000 with the BIG BROTHER series in the Netherlands, which then spread worldwide like a virus. The series gained notoriety in the United Kingdom franchise with the contestant Jade Goody who first appeared in the non-celebrity version in 2002 in the British franchise on Channel 4. Although she was voted out of the Big Brother house, coming 4th in the 2002 season of Big Brother, she was “classed” as a “CELEBRITY”. She then had her own reality TV series, launched her own perfume, and even published an autobiography in 2006 titled Jade: My Autobiography; however, one very much doubts she wrote the book as she once said:
"I am intelligent, but I let myself down because I can't speak properly or spell"
She later appeared on the controversial Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 when she was evicted just two weeks after the start of the show. Viewers, even non-viewers, were offended by her insulting racist insults against the Indian actress and model Shilpa Shetty.
Jade goody was regarded by the public as a rude, ignorant, uneducated, offensive hooligan who set the worst possible example for the youth of Great Britain, However, many teens in Great Britain looked up to Jade Goody, single mother of two boys, as a role model for fame and money and wanting to follow in her footsteps.
It is estimated that Jade Goody made up to £8million from her career as a so-called celebrity. Nevertheless, she died at the young age of 27 of Cervical Cancer in 2009; one could say GOODY RIDDANCE. Though she did do some good, as she raised awareness on Cervical Cancer resulting in a record number of young women getting tests for early-stage Cervical Cancer, which is treatable if diagnosed early.
Other than raising awareness on Cervical Cancer amongst young women, Jade Goody did no good. She had no notable skills, especially social, was certainly not a role model, as she could be held accountable for corrupting a generation of teens in Great Britain. Even more accountable were the media organisations that sensationalised her in the tabloids and television. The media put across a message that was perceived by the British youth that one could achieve celebrity and riches through obnoxious anti-social behaviour by aspiring to be underachievers with obnoxious anti-social behaviour.
Now we go to the other end of the spectrum to The Osbournes, first broadcast on MTV Networks in 2002. The “SHOW” featured “The Prince of Darkness” and “Godfather of Heavy Metal” Ozzy Osbourne the former and once again frontman for the British Heavy Metal group Black Sabbath. One admits that One is a huge fan of Ozzy Osbourne; One also admits One has watched the series out of curiosity. Ozzy Osbourne certainly did not need any more fame; in fact, more like the opposite, as he obviously wanted a private life. However, he was thrust onto TV screens, along with his wife also his manager Sharon Osbourne, and two of his spawn, Kelly and Jack Osbourne. Many thought the series was funny, emphasising the FUN in a dysfunctional family, showing a family constantly arguing over petty issues, with excessive swearing that was bleeped out. The scripted scenarios mostly focused on crises based around Ozzy’s privileged overindulged brattish offspring Kelly and Jack Osbourne, with poor Ozzy befuddled his teens’ growing pains, camera crew, dogs pooping all over expensive Persian Rugs and Sharon Osbourne dealing with the invasion of Ozzy’s privacy as though it was a business venture.
Admittedly, the show was amusing to watch from the perspective of an adult. The problem was the whole family would watch the series, resulting in Teenagers ultimately mimicking Kelly and Jack Osbourne’s obstinate rants and foul language with whimsical background music, eventually accepting such behaviour as normal. However, on recent interviews in the media the Osbourne family obviously hinted at regrets in airing their dirty laundry in public. Nevertheless, the damage has been done.
After only three seasons of the Osbournes, the series helped launch the career of Sharon Osbourne with her whiny voice in various Reality TV talent shows like Britain’s Got Talent, mainly featuring contestants wanting fame for the purpose of fame with no talent to substantiate fame. Talentless Kelly Osbourne got a career, not exactly one could describe as a fashion expert, became a co-host for Fashion Police with Co-Host Joan Rivers. Jack Osbourne used the opportunity to better and reinvent himself; giving up drugs, became and adrenaline junkie, filming documentaries where he took part in adventure sports like martial arts mountaineering and rock climbing. Also using his fame to raise awareness on issues like Testicular Cancer; though sadly he was recently diagnosed with early stage Multiple Sclerosis, however Jack Osbourne will no doubt do some good raising awareness on the disease and raising funds for charities associated with Multiple Sclerosis.
Paris Hilton - The Simple Life
Socialite Paris Hilton is quite possibly one of the most hated personalities thrust on the public eye. The Hilton Hotel Heiress, labelled as a Dumb-Blonde who barely graduated High School despite undoubtedly thousands being spent on her private education, shot to fame after home filmed sex footage of her and her boyfriend was released in 2003. Paris Hilton along with BFF and fellow socialite Nicole Richie, were snapped up by Fox TV for the Reality TV Show “The Simple Life”. In the series, the over privileged brats Paris and Nicole appeared in episodes attempting low-paid manual labour in farms shovelling pig excrement, cleaning hotel rooms, waitressing at diners and more; basically jobs that get one sweaty and exhausted.
The lame efforts of Paris and Nicole’s efforts, which were only temporary, mocked the millions of poor people who have no choice but to survive, employed in demanding low paid jobs in the agriculture and various services sectors. Whilst watching Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in The Simple Life, one was reminded of the beheaded Queen of France Marie Antoinette who once said:” LET THEM EAT CAKE”.
The influence she had on young girls is blatantly evident. How many young girls you seen in designer clothes carrying around a miniature dog in a handbag? Miss Hilton is also known for a laundry list of many other achievements including being arrested for suspicion of cocaine possession; driving under the influence of alcohol, a suspended driving license, serving a 45-day sentence in jail, probation violation, house arrest with electronic tagging and reportedly paid fines totalling just $3,500. How many other young impressionable girls have followed in the high-heeled footsteps of Paris Hilton? Even women in their late 20s to even 50s aspire to be like Paris Hilton when or rather IF they GROW UP, wearing overly revealing mini-skirts, staggering around in Jimmy Choo shoes, carrying around poor little tortured Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas in their Louis Vuitton handbags. Moreover, how many other young female celebrities have decided to copy Paris to get more media exposure and public attention after their careers have started to go downhill?
Yet young girls still aspire to be like Paris Hilton, estimated to be worth $100 million, who is classed as a “model”, businesswoman, pop star, film star, producer, and fashion designer with her own clothing line, handbags to carry dogs in, beauty products and fragrances. Paris Hilton is no role model for young girls; hers is not a Rag to Riches story, she is after all part of the Hilton family, a dynasty that has an estimated net-worth of over $2 billion. Moreover, there is not an ounce of reality in Paris Hilton’s charmed life.
Keeping up with The Kardashians
What best describes Keeping up with The Kardashians is one massive vulgar advertisement for the Kardashian-Jenner joint venture, focusing the trivial trials and tribulations of Kim Kardashian, whom many regard as a Gold-Digger. The Kardashian-Jenner dynasty have built their fame and fortunes upon Drama Queen Kim Kardashian, who also like her friend and fellow socialite Paris Hilton shot to fame when a sex footage with her ex-boyfriend Ray-J somehow got into the public domain. Was it a covertly engineered career move unbeknownst to Kim by someone close to her perhaps? Not long after the exposure, the unknown Kardashian family had their own Reality TV Show.
Kim Kardashian’s Business Manager is her mother, pushy showbiz mum Kris Jenner, ex-wife of Robert Kardashian who was on the legal defence team for O.J. Simpson’s infamous murder trial. Kris Jenner, who married Bruce Jenner former US athlete and Olympic gold medallist, in 1990, also runs the family clothing boutique DASH in Los Angeles as well as the Kardashian Franchise. Naturally, after the success of Keeping up with the Kardashians, the family were able to open two stores in Miami and New York.
Kim Kardashian regards what she does as work: Kim, darling, what you do is not classed as work; work is done by people trained with trade and vocational skills. The only people doing work in the whole Keeping Up with the Kardashian enterprise are the Dry Cleaners who clean and press the extensive designer Kardashian / Jenner wardrobe. Also the camera crew who carry heavy cameras and equipment following Kim and Clan; the production team straining their eyes and ears editing footage; and accountants having to add up all the production expenses.
As for expenses, in one episode where the Kardashian / Jenner mob went on a family “VACA” to Bora Bora where they stayed at the luxury Hilton Bora Bora where rooms are up to $4,200 per night.
The reality is that there are people starving, surviving below the poverty line, and in stark contrast, we see a family indulging in a much unnecessary and undeserved luxury “VACA” watched by the youth who in their wildest dreams could never afford such a holiday. A display of such luxury leaves a majority of young viewers disgruntled with their lives, subsequently putting pressure and guilt on their parents who wished they could provide more for their children. But the most repugnant part of the episode in Bora Bora was when Kim Kardashian’s then current boyfriend and now ex-husband, Basketball player Kris Humphries, threw Kim from the balcony of the Presidential Suite at the hotel into the water below after which “Poor” Kim lost a $75,000 earing. Such a loss by an ordinary working and middle-class person could in some cases drive them to suicide. Though do not fear, as the insurance company probably compensated for poor Kim’s reckless loss. To $75,000 in context, that amount of money can feed 10 families of five for a year.
What entertainment value do viewers get? Kim trying to decide whom to date or marry; what to wear; where to go shopping for designer clothes and jewellery; what car to buy; where to go eating and drinking. However, all clothing, jewellery and venues are all most likely sponsored, to induce young teenage girls into spending their parents’ earnings accordingly on the brands shown in the series; and of course establishing brand loyalty with the captive audience from a young age.
In addition to such gripping critical decisions, viewers get to see a self-serving family clueless to reality, unhealthy sibling-rivalry arguing using excessive profanity, Kim and her sisters Kourtney and Khloe who are three girls incessantly in heat, constantly talking about sex, most likely being a bad influence on their two younger half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who at least for now seem to have more common sense and discipline than their 3 older siblings.
In short, the Kardashian / Jenner enterprise managed by Kris Jenner, which has even resurrected Bruce Jenner’s career as a motivational speaker, has benefitted from Kim’s private sex footage being made public. Essentially, this is not what one can regard as a legitimate business, nor career or work, and especially not reality; but can be deemed as base exploitation; sensationalism and corruption of a female teen generation at its worst, encouraging materialism, vanity lust and greed, and the entire family are paid for doing so. Greed brings us to the next so-called TV Reality Show.
The Apprentice US & UK
Donald Trump and Lord Alan Sugar have built successful business empires, though certainly not under the same circumstances and with the same arrogance as the contestants on The Apprentice. Apprentice is not the correct term for the contestants on the show; Novices is far more appropriate for each season’s motley mob, mostly conceited recent business and marketing graduates as well as self-proclaimed successful entrepreneurs; if they were so successful, then why would they want to work under the iron thumb of Donald Trump or Lord Alan Sugar?
Watched by young naïve university students to see how people behave on the Apprentice is what corporate world is really like. The Apprentice is more like a Summer Camp for wannabes professionals that still have not grown out of that Teenage High School Popularity mentality more focused on getting those 15-Minutes of fame, thinking even if they do not win the Apprentice some company will snap them up as a Public Relations stunt.
In the home the contestants share, one sees flirting with team members and rival team members, NOT PROFESSIONAL; the message here is ONE SHOULD NOT SH*T WHERE ONE EATS. Contestants also conspire against individuals they deem a threat, even goading and mobbing against the more competent contestants to make them lose their confidence and perform under duress in their tasks; the opposite should be true in the workplace. As for the little clusters of compatible friends or cliques formed within the teams fall apart, where eventually friend turn on each other after losing a task, just to stay in the series for another show. In the business world, one should never stab a colleague in the back, if anything one identifies and uses the best skills and traits in a colleague, putting them to the best possible use, always motivating them with Team Building exercises; not on The Apprentice though, as it’s a battle to the death
As for the Tasks, there is always the obligatory Project Manager, who ultimately always gets the blame for all failures. Project Manager has become one of the most misused terminologies in business in recent years. Project Management is a very specific technical Methodology, as defined by the Project Management Institute. Many Real-World Project Managers feel that the Contestants on The Apprentice degrade even insult the reputation, work and work ethic of Project Managers.
In the Boardroom
When a team thinks they are doing well in the task, all the members are the best of friends. However, when team members are disagreeing on how to implement tasks, they are already starting their defence strategies for the boardroom.
One minute everything could be going fine in the Boardroom, Team Members HIGH FIVING each other: then a team learns it did not do so well in their task, it’s interesting and sometimes sadistically fun to see, how team members turn on each other with the Blame Game, pointing fingers at each other like naughty little children.
Once the winning team is announced, the losing team remain to choose someone to be told “YOU’RE FIRED”; it all gets very heated with the bitter betrayal of the Blame Game, where no one ever admits to his or her own blunders, comically twisting the facts to save their own butts for the following week’s episode, with a complete lack of objectivity. In some cases, the person who is fired, based on a single task, is the most competent member of the team.
In the real business world, a prospective employee is selected based on the consistency of their record of accomplishment, not on isolated incidence of unprofessional puerile backbiting, often agitated by others. After all, The Apprentice is just a show for pure entertainment, a game show, and definitely not to be perceived as the reality of the White Collar Workers.
Undeniably, the Celebrity version of The Apprentice is pure entertainment and fun to watch, as the celebrities are not fighting for a job with Donald Trump or Sir Alan Sugar, but to win a cash prize to give to their nominated charity. Celebrity Apprentice Season 2 had to be the pinnacle of the series, with the best mix of characters Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers, Reality TV Show veteran Khloe Kardashian, Dennis Rodman and comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay. Joan Rivers won Season 2 of Celebrity Apprentice, showing the cunning, business skills and experience of a 75-year old woman dealing with people with huge egos.
Made in Chelsea
Now for people who have no idea of work, Made in Chelsea which first aired on Britain’s Channel 4 in 2012, follows the lives of 12 detestably over-privileged young adults barely out of their teens in their early 20s, who live in the Gilded Cages of London’s affluent Chelsea district, in a world about as far from reality as one can get. The cast consists mostly of clueless gormless talentless personalities with no personality, who are as plastic and as lacking in depth as their credit cards.
Upon examination of the biographies of the Made in Chelsea cast, it becomes apparent that the quarantined cast are like fish out of water outside of their little over-privileged world of Chelsea. None of the Chelsea flock has any work ethics or marketable work skills, or even real social skills outside of their own societal class, who look at life through rose-tinted designer spectacles, where each of the cast member’s sole existences are based only on self-indulgence in decadence.
The scripted daily lives of the Made in Chelsea cast centres around a self-centred dithering pampered pretentious pack unsatisfied with their lives of luxury, feigned career struggles, shopping, chatting about nothing meaningful, more shopping, discussing where to eat and drink, who to have sex with and duels for infatuation where the most lethal weapon of choice could be cocktail sticks at bars, mostly socialising in their own comfort zone of Chelsea.
Ollie Locke of the Made in Chelsea flock is the epitome of the kind of vain exhibitionist party-going social vampire that sucks off the family fortune and Chelsea Socialites who dabble in meaningless jobs requiring little or no skill that by no means can be regarded as a real career. Although Ollie dabbles in the Labour Party social scene, he would not know the first thing about any kind of real labour. However, Ollie who has obviously spent a considerable part of his life at nightclubs admitted:
"But I cleaned s**t and p**s in a nightclub for a year and a half, earning £50 a night. Literally cleaning up sick with my hands."
So maybe Poor little Ollie Locke got his hands dirty working for a short period of time as a Menial Handy Man at a nightclub, but he can be regarded be more of a Dandy Man, with his long hair, fake tan and manicured features. Now that Ollie has some level of fame he is now said to be writing a FANTASY NOVEL; is it perhaps an Autobiography? Ollie once said “Charles Dickens wrote Winnie the Pooh”; how can such a person even write a book, and what insane publisher would waste valuable resources such as paper and ink to publish his book, then leave a carbon trail wasting more precious resources to distribute a book written by someone like Ollie Locke. Another person from Chelsea perhaps.
Jersey Shore & Geordie Shore:
From one person with a fake tan in Made in Chelsea, we look at a program on both sides of the Pond, Jersey Shore in New Jersey on the North East Cost of the US and its spinoff Geordie Shore on the other side of the pond in Newcastle on the North East coast of England. Pond Scum is a good way to describe the INMATES that share a home in both the Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore shows.
White Trash is another way to describe line-up of characters in both of the shows, but perhaps ORANGE TRASH is more appropriate judging by the fake tans. Occasionally in both Jersey and Geordie Shore, we see subtitles, probably because the people on both Shores lack all manner of eloquence and coherence in their verbal communication skills, not that the dialogue is of any significance.
What one gets to watch in Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore is near Neanderthal like behaviour, with young ape-like males parading around in vests, showing off their and beating their waxed chests as though it’s mating season 24/7, with young females in heat wearing clothes two or three sizes too small (Snooki is a perfect example of this), pretending to play hard to get; but sooner rather than later, giving in to the animal magnetisms of their male counterparts. Along with the foul language, the excessive drinking and constant pursuit of sex, both shows definitely send out the wrong message to Teens and young adults on how to live productive meaningful lives.
The language on both Shores is by far the most foul of all the Reality TV Shows, where oestrogen energised girls swear as much, if not more, than the testosterone fuelled Alpha Macho Males. There are many parallels that can be drawn between New Jersey and Newcastle in the county of Northumberland; but sadly, the individuals in both Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore stereotypically represent the worst aspects of each location.
What many people are not aware of is that the State of New Jersey is home to one of the World’s most respected academic institutions, Princeton University, where the Physicist Albert Einstein taught for 22-years. The academic setting of Princeton in New Jersey has help produce some of the finest minds the World has ever known, in stark contrast to the minds still in the process of evolution in Jersey Shore.
The Governor of New Jersey, Christopher Christie, is one person who in 2010 felt the Jersey Shore series, produced by MTV, was giving New Jersey a bad name. Governor Christie even vetoed a tax incentive for the Jersey Shore series in September 2011, which was granted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Well done Governor Christie, you have our full support on that veto.
Governor Christie in rightfully justyfying his veto of the tax incentive said of the show:
"As chief executive, I am duty-bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuates misconceptions about the state and its citizens."
To date, no public official from Newcastle has come forward to speak out against Geordie Shore. The musician and former teacher Sting is a native-son of Newcastle who could say something about the negative way in which Newcastle is misrepresented: we’re waiting Sting.
The Reality of Reality TV Shows
So how does one qualify to be on a Reality TV Show? Well, there are certainly no University Degrees or vocational training for such a career. What Producers of Reality TV Shows look for is detestable characters that will be hated and mocked by the viewing public. Viewers who watch Reality TV Shows, ultimately want to see contestants fail miserably in shows like Big Brother and The Apprentice, or see people make fools of themselves socially, professionally and in their personal lives in shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Made in Chelsea and on the Shores on both sides of the Pond.
Reality TV Shows are generally cheap to produce, which is why there are so many; there are no stars, no sets, no scripts except for contrived scenarios by the producers; essentially, cheap in every sense of the word. However, there is big money involved with sponsors trying to plug their designer brands, and venues trying to promote their by allowing filming in their bars and nightclubs.
The Mainstream Media is clearly brainwashing and warping the fragile little minds of today’s youth with the surge of Reality TV Shows that has flooded TV screens. Consequently, Media firms that produce Reality TV shows can technically be held accountable for subliminally promoting materialism and consumerism, as well as encouraging, amoral, immoral, and unethical and Anti-Social Behaviour amongst teenagers and young adults. Obviously, the sponsors of such programs should also be held accountable for aiding and abetting Anti-Social Behaviour and corruption of youth.
The best thing concerned parents can do is to complain to the Television channels that broadcast such shows, as well as complain to regulatory bodies like the FCC in the US and OFCOM in the UK which are supposed to uphold broadcasting standards. Another thing is that bill paying parents of teens should block the channels that broadcast such Reality TV Shows and maybe encourage their kids to watch channels like National Geographic, Discovery Channel and The History Channel.
Finally, if media firms feel the need to broadcast Reality TV Shows, then why don’t they produce programs where people actually accomplish great deeds to set an example for the youth of today, to inspire the pioneers of tomorrow?
As for TOWIE – The Only Way Is Essex and Mark Wright, you’re a good bunch of lads. Here’s a suggestion for Mark and the TOWIE Lads; why don’t you do a TOWIC or The Other Way is Chelsea and sort out those Ponces starting with Ollie Locke?