Tonight NBC premieres the 2,453rd reality season: the second season of Last Comic Standing. By sheer coincidence VH1 is ran a repeat of The Secrets of Reality Television Exposed the other day. The show tags itself as the reality behind reality television, recounting the antics of the genre’s past few years.
The show focuses on the people that made the so-called reality shows reality, with a special emphasis of how much it screwed up their lives, complaining that they will always be defined from one embarrassing moment on television. One woman from The Bachelor commented that while she has numerous degrees and traveled the world, she will always be known as the woman who made the “slurping sound” in the bushes with the star. These unfortunate illustrious insinuate that they are victims: they were promised fame and fortune but were manipulated, embarrassed and used then thrown out without compensation.
Of course, no where in the contract they signed that said they were promised a damn thing, including not being embarrassed. Let’s not kid ourselves, the drama—no matter how inflated—is why reality television is so popular. That’s why people who understand that rarely want to go on reality television: the chances are you will be worse off. I hold no remorse for the person that thought they would be handed immense wealth without being risked with notoriety and embarrassment.
Ironically, this show came from the network that brings us such respectable shows like 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs…Ever, Best Week Ever, VH1’s Ill-ustrated and The Greatest: 40 Greatest Celebrity Feuds—all of which carefully document the most embarrassing moments of the lives of the famous. To anyone that’s ever complained that the media is too intrusive, that they are tired of the paparazzi in their face, that they don’t want their biggest mistakes common knowledge, I say this: If you want all the benefits of fame, then you better be prepared to costs. If you want people taking your picture all the time, you better be prepared to have it taken when you lest want it to be. You can’t get something—especially something as power as fame—for nothing. Grow up, America.