And when it seems that everyone has, television has not forgotten us. Program schedule of national TV stations is completely based on real people. It is depending on the nature and form, searching for authentic desires and unfulfilled dreams, fears, and dramatic narrations, big breaks and the true horror.
Television needs you where you are weak, best in what you’re ashamed of, irresistible when stumbling under the weight problems or exposing the ballast of your past, when you lose your dignity and wallow in your own mud. Television has an ear for every sin, honesty is priceless, and with open arms embraces the horror and darkness, and prints checks for everything anyone ever told you, brave trivial desires, allowing you to feel what it means to be somebody, measured in seconds and frames.
Indeed, terrible becomes shocking, but interesting, real misfortune becomes possible and likely intriguing, and harrowing story becomes an interesting scenario.
Where the state fails, which again differs from society to society, television jumps in. It is a rich aunt from abroad, with a bag full of expensive gifts, and funny uncle that provides you many opportunities, social services and others who know successful managers, donor and Trauma Center, a shoulder to cry on, which is hard to find without being afraid that the tears will harm the tattoo that adorns it, and the ancient goddess that redraws the ways so long lost lovers can meet again. Yes, that is television.
Money is no longer enough. By itself, it does not guarantee that you will be chosen to be a friend of Paris Hilton in her quest for the planetary soul mate. Does not guarantee a dinner with your favorite star as the most desirable outcome of die hard fandom, under the lanterns, or in the famous club in town. Television is here to tell you what is ultimately, in, must have, must be. All you have to do is be miserable. Because, if Paris Hilton has someone sitting across from her whose palate is accustomed to champagne, hands to gold-plated cutlery, the amazement collapses, there is no adrenaline, the audience loses heroes who they can cheer on, they lose anyone who they could identify with. In this sense, success is defined as a social recognition, it becomes silverware, a piece of paradise for all members of the kingdom of anonymity, in this position, literally seen as the underworld, in contrast to sparkling, celestial world of stars. When visiting these ordinary people, the host of the reality show skips a bar, a seedy threshold, he stumbles on home furnishings, breaking through the narrow corridors. Symbolically speaking, they cross the Charon’s rivers, to breathe life into the other mortals. Anonymity, in the context of contemporary media, is equated with death.
Television does miracles: ugly become beautiful, weak become powerful, the poor have a chance to experience the privileges of the rich, fans hold their idols for the curd in the eruption of pagan idolatry, criminals recognize their own sins, proving that they also have a human side, marriage problems are solved with fists and insults while the audience cheers.
That is why there are so many of anorexia, bulimia, family pathology, sins, repressed trauma, naive dreams, snobbery, arrogance, infidelity, obsession of all kinds and, finally, the blessed stupidity of television studios.
What is so entertaining about reality television? Watching people from the lowest of all strata of society fight over Snooki? If they had anything better to do, they wouldn’t be in a reality show. It’s a show with the worst possible scenario. That’s not real life. So why sell it like it is?
What is so entertaining about watching The Kardashians go shopping every day? And watching their family problems? I guess, people are really interested in other people’s lives. A bunch of untalented, but luckily, rich people, living their empty lives. When they are not fighting, all is right in the world.
Extreme makeovers. A show that actually suggests you to do plastic surgery. Its message: Don’t embrace the looks that mom gave you if you don’t like them, don’t love yourself for who you are, just “Bring it on down to Plasticville!”
When pimpled girl from the suburbs, rejected by peers and misunderstood by the environment, succeeds to get the Prince, it’s just like wine flowing from the stone. In this modern fairy tale, she doesn’t need to remain faithful to him for life. On the contrary, it would be the perfect television to discover that the prince is actually gay and that she, as a real support, takes him to the group therapy. In the meantime, she flirts with elderly tycoon, whose daughter is treated at the Betty Ford clinic trying to “get herself off” everything. It is not impossible. The world is full of pimpled unpopular girls with braces and they mostly dream the same dreams. Why? Ask television.