Sports and Reality TV Play on the Same Team

November 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

I beg to compare Reality Television to Sports Programming pioneered by the giant that is ESPN. To produce a segment reality TV you need one part activity, game or challenge, two parts cast with outrageous personalities and a dash of rivalry, alcohol optional. Sounds like someone else I know. And they like balls. 

Like any recipe, things can go awry. If you put in too much rivalry and you’ll get something that looks like Bad Girls Club. And I don’t think we need any more of that in our satellites. We have to have an image to uphold with the aliens. Now back to the pituitary cases placed in a stadium to fight over a ball.

Sports and Reality TV must be working together. What do the New Jersey Nets and those silly Kardashian brunettes have in common? A two-night television event produced by Ryan Secrest where E! gave 4.2 million viewers a 72 day marriage. As a couple they earned more in one day by selling the rights to their nuptials than poor Humphries made in his entire career. Funny how there’s a lockout this year. Funny how Kim is famous for any reason.

Both of these entertainment giants prosper because of sex. From Pam Anderson to Paris Hilton, you can get rich from making a sex tape and if they give you a reality show you can date a football player. It worked for Jessica Simpson. On the flip side, everything pertaining to sports is indorsed by boobs and beer, with the age old excuse that sex sells.

Soon, Reality TV started emulating Sports. If fact it already has. For example, consider the month of February. The regular season is over and The Bachelor has taken control, causing the great seasonal shift in Monday night entertainment across the country. In the deep depths of winter women reclaim the spot on the couch with their hot coco, even hosting viewing parties with potlucks.

Primarily female viewership, The Bachelor is one of the highest rated shows among women. Season after season ABC casts prime examples of the average lady looking for love. These girls are certifiably crazy and under nourished size twos. Tacking, scoring, blood, sweat, tears, I might as well be watching football. Last season a cast member gave herself a black eye. The reality show is 1-15 for the fairytale ending with no signs of actually wanting to improve their record, but still they watch in droves. Fans say it’s the journey not the outcome. And just like die hard Browns Fans, it’s supporting the team.

You might also be shocked to discover the real die-hard fanatics throw their time in the dumpster by playing Fantasy Bachelor. Once you pick the girls for your team you earn points if one of them cries, gets in a verbal fight, sticks her tongue down the Bachelor’s throat (or each others) or gets plastered. Just what we need, more drunk people on television. Makes you think the sports fantasy leagues should really step it up and give extra points for suspensions or arrests. Why not make it interesting while your pouring your life into something that doesn’t actually exist?

If little boys look up to professional athletes, I might worry that little girls are looking up to some sort of “real housewife” setting their aspirations on marrying rich instead of paving their own way. If we are having trouble getting the sexism out of scripted television should we even start to tackle Sports Programming and Reality TV, or is it already a lost cause in the name of money? It’s too bad. I really like football.

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