Day Two in our Michael Jackson Week – just click on our PCA/ET Poll and let us know your thoughts on the King of Pop, who passed away exactly a year ago. Looking at your fave MJ album choices from yesterday, I guess it really isn’t just me – everyone seems to prefer Thriller to all his other LPs too. Although given the fact that it is the best selling album of all time, perhaps that’s not surprising (I guess Rumours and Back in Black would fare pretty well if we were to ask you about iconic 70’s and 80’s records too.)
Now how about the travesty that is The Bachelor – and I quote the headline “Jake Pavelka Blindsided As Vienna Sells Breakup Story to Tabloids”. This is shocking to me for several reasons (and not one of them is why it’s “shocking” to Jake. Because Turns Out? It isn’t.) With this in mind, let’s talk about reality TV. Of which I am not always a fan, but I do understand it has its place in the American (and global) entertainment arena. It satisfies our desire to see regular people sing, dance, lose weight, cook, sew, camp, decipher, twirl, confess and frequently endure better than anybody else. And they snuck reality TV in slowly and very smoothly. First we had the game shows, which feel harmless and fun. Then they ratchet up the stakes with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which automatically grabs our attention because of the cash, the intellect required, and the slick look. That and the fact that it indulged one of the great game show fantasies we all have: no longer do we just scream the answer at the TV – they have the option to phone someone up and confer so that person can politely scream the answer at them . Gotta say that feature was kind of a master stroke in the reality TV concept department. So anyway they start us out slow so we get to liking these shows, the attractive everyday people, the cool swoopy lights, the pre-e-e-e-e-gnant-est of pauses before stuff gets revealed. The affable hosts. (Full disclosure: I wrote for a few of these shows and loved it but sometimes the sheer anticipation – despite frequently knowing the answer to a question in advance because I’d written it – definitely took a toll on my anxiety level & respiratory system.) So it’s all cool and fun and then, bam! We head south. In my opinion we hit Cultural Armageddon when that man – that very, very rich man, a “Multimillionaire” in fact – got to choose a bride on national TV. That’s when I thought we’d taken a dangerous nosedive into some lava-swirling vortex of Not Good. Exactly when the “Sure You Don’t Wanna Turn Back?” door shut permanently for all of us philistines tuning in on earth. Anyway, the rest is history, but just let’s get back to Jake Pavelka. Really cute guy. Appealing contestant. Not a bad dancer. Probably even a crack pilot. But let’s not kid ourselves into feeling like he’s a genuine Suiter/Wooer in this Bachelor sitch. Know what? My cat’s engaged too. They’re asking us to drink some kind of dubious Kool-Aid of credibility here but it sure looks like there was no relationship. And this time I think we’re wise to it. Aren’t we? We don’t believe this…do we? No one’s buying it. Are they? They say Jake woke up and learned that his engagement had been called off in The Star. Really. Really? But then the headlines scream (and get another zillion eyeballs in the process) “Jake’s Not So Broken Up That He Can’t Sell HIS Side of the Story to Someone Else”. That’s incredible, you know? That he could dab his pilot tears and sit down in front of a battered Smith & Corona and plunk out a statement about heartbreak. And infidelity. What a guy. Honestly. Do the publicity people who work for these shows honestly think that by printing these headlines it’ll just get us talking about it more? That we’ll fall for this sham stuff one more time? Well, it just won’t work. I refuse to engage in all this sordid banter about whether or not we ought to be stunned by news that isn’t news in the first place just because the people who deliver it might be easy on the (jilted, shocked) eyes. Won’t give another second’s credence to this fauxmance.
Now I have to fly, and toss the empty gallon container of Kool-Aid into the recycling bin but first, here’s something else to consider. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these Reality TV shows is your fave:
1) The Bachelor
2) The Bachelorette
3) Dancing With The Stars
4) Project Runway