I watch too much TV. I know this, and I’m ashamed of myself. I like TV, and, sorry as I am to have to report this, I like reality TV. There I said it. The cat’s out of the bag now, so I may as well double down. I like shows about buying storage units. I like shows about being stranded on a tropical island. Worst of all, I like shows about family drama.
Boy, does it feel good to get that of my chest. It’s like a weight has been lifted. Please don’t judge me!
I have noticed that reality TV very closely mirrors the values of the audience the show was intended for. These programs are geared toward an intended audience, and their popularity says something about who watches them. If you want to learn how to remodel your house, there is a show for you. If you like drinking, cavorting, and waking up next to strangers, there is a reality TV show for you. If you like make-up, modeling, and design, they’ve got you covered. If you want to see the not-at-all-scripted “behind the scenes” lifestyles of the rich and married, then you too are in luck, because there is a show for you. If you watch these shows, chances are you are watching others do those same things you do.
Best I can tell, all of reality TV, and therefore all of our culture, boils down to two programs; Duck Dynasty and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. These are two very powerful, very different, reality TV families currently reigning on network television; the Robertsons and the Kardashians. I believe these two families perfectly represent the two opposing sides of our distinctly American cultural divide. There is a rift so deep and wide in America, that, culturally, we may as well be two different countries. Anyone who denies this is either lying to himself or is artlessly naive.
America #1 is family centered, hard working and industrious, level headed, and looks to God for His favor and at God as the meaning of life. America #2 is self centered, distracted and lazy, and looks to fame, fortune, and success for favor and meaning. Maybe each person is a little bit of both, but most of us will fall mainly into one camp or the other.
Lets do a side by side comparison of these two families.
- These blue collar folks have been designing and producing a classic american product for more than 40 years.
- They are a family who genuinely love each other, and depend on each other.
- They got famous, because people liked their product.
- They share meals together around a family table.
- They live off the land, and enjoy it!
- They have married, once, and stayed married, and they have produced stable offspring.
- They love God, and worship Him as God, and acknowledge that He is the source of all their joy, success, and life.
If this family loses its show, its fortune, and/or the earthly creature comforts, they will have lost nothing at all.0
- These designer label wearing women have a series of retail stores, which attract customers because the proprietors are Kardashians.
- They do not seem to genuinely love one another, and are certainly living independent lives.
- They got famous because one of the was in a sex tape.
- When they eat together, it is at a posh LA or NY restaurant.
- They live off the esteem and gullibility of their fans.
- None of them seem to be able to stay married, and the ones who stay together aren’t married.
- They do not love God, worship Him, or even acknowledge His grace towards them.
If this family loses its show, its fortune, and/or the earthly creature comforts, they will have lost everything.
My analysis is this; if, we don’t start watching better TV, the Kardashians, and others like them, (I call them kardashioids) will continue to broadcast their preening, venal, insipid brand of “reality”. They will continue enriching themselves at the expense of the soul of America #2. Our culture is all the worse for them, because a new generation has grown up believing that if they don’t become youtube famous, then their lives will have no worth.
Kardashiods don’t create anything. They don’t make any new or useful. All they seem to do is have their picture taken, and take vacations (camera crew in tow). Kardashiods have never had calloused hands or sore backs from a hard day’s labor. When they crack a sweat, its because they are at the trendiest hot yoga studio Calabasas has to offer. Kardashiods believe that beauty equals entitlement. They think the world owes them something, because they are young, attractive, and active on social media. But, it doesn’t.
I think the rise of the kardashiods has set a lot of young people up to be disappointed. These expectations of Hollywoodesque wealth and fame are so far fetched, and yet they’ve entered our homes under the guise of “Reality TV”. The irony is, of course, that reality TV has become anything but.