February 23, 2005
The reality TV guide to good behavior

CW Nevius makes a pretty good point about how good and bad behavior are rewarded and punished on reality TV shows.

Despite their attempts to manufacture conflict, the reality shows have become a national forum for what is acceptable public conduct. Instead of encouraging the worst in contestants (which is what nearly everyone expected), the shows have not only exposed bad behavior, they have scolded it.

Take Kendra Bentley, the vapid model who competed in the other CBS reality-ratings powerhouse "The Amazing Race." In that show, couples race around the world, hyperventilating and hollering. During one segment, Bentley, traveling through Senegal, looked out a taxi window and observed that, "This country is wretched and disgusting. And they just keep breeding and breeding in this poverty."

After the show, Bentley was backpedaling frantically, apologizing and explaining that the comment was taken out of context.

Man, every Amazing Race fan I know hated the fact that Kendra The Perfect Human Soul and Freddie Who Is Worthy Of Fathering Her Children won (this is a typical reaction). If they're not enjoying their million as much as they thought they would, that's fine by me. Stuff like that can almost restore one's faith.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 23, 2005 to TV and movies | TrackBack

Kuff, I had no idea you were a TAR fan! Just got hooked on it this season myself. And while my sense of righteousness puffed up a little when Jon and Victoria bit the dust (WAY overdue), I still lament that Jon and Kris didn't win the whole shebang. I mean, they're so nice!

I mean, first I liked those Mormon sisters, and then I rooted Gus and Hera, and then I thought, OK, Lori and Bolo... been a long 12 weeks.

What? This isn't a TAR fansite?


Sorry. Please carry on.

Posted by: CrispyShot on February 23, 2005 2:11 PM

It's pretty standard for lowbrow entertainment to pander to people's preference for a black and white view of the world rather than make people think about the issues.

Posted by: Abigail on February 23, 2005 6:16 PM

Tim and I were definitely not pleased to see Freddy and Kendra win. I tried consoling myself with the thought that at least Rebecca and her Nancy-Boy didn't win, but that only worked for a few minutes. Then I was mostly just really mad.

Posted by: Sue on February 24, 2005 7:11 AM