It’s quite a dramatic dichotomy when you see the effusively angry comments from Yahoo! readers about MTV’s over-tanned “Jersey Shore” compared to the apparent coveted demographic that faithfully watched the show. Now that “Jersey Shore” has received a pink (or perhaps orange) slip from MTV after six years, the myriad of comments from around the world versus what MTV says tells you everything about the state of reality shows, and what they’ve done to divide the consciences of TV watchers. That particular divide seems to fall under those who’ve long understood reality shows as mostly scripted pablum, and others who continue to think they’re watching reality.
What makes this bothersome to those who desire an improved America is that the first half of the 12-34 demographic is easily pulled into believing a show such as “Jersey Shore” reflects the real world. Without an astute parental talk, kids may have no concept that writers have been on stand-by for years on the modern reality show, ready to create situations for people like The Situation. And while that gainfully employs writers, it’s ultimately worse when they have to create situations that should look utterly ridiculous to the educated adult.
Those aforementioned divides become all the more widened when you have MTV proclaiming a cultural victory with the so-called reality of “Jersey Shore” at the expense of a young demographic. MTV seems to be the banner network that carves their own reality when the success of their reality shows doesn’t necessarily mean embracement by the majority. In fact, it’s downright eerie to see so many people against MTV in general and those same people lamenting the network long ago turning away from music videos.
All network delusions of grandeur seem to also be happening with other networks that think their focus on reality shows is benefiting the world. Those thoughts are arguably the fault of living in a corporate bubble rather than being out in the real world. But why do they think they’ll continue to fool the public into thinking that reality shows aren’t just as scripted as the dying fictional sitcom?
Perhaps the more loaded question is: why do networks continue to schedule reality shows when you see the cyber freeway loaded with enough anti-reality show bile to start an official army? It’s all an impressive collective that could bring forth an effective boycott if those people became organized. Any answer to that may be in those contemptuous people turning out to be two-faced and inevitably watching the most talked about reality shows after complaining about their existence.
“Jersey Shore” may be the all-time reality show template in how that contradiction manifested in recent years. And any marketing coercion by networks to rope in those vulnerable younger demographics couldn’t be more egregious in presenting a reality our next generation may eventually and painfully realize doesn’t come close to existing.