When Reality TV Travels the Globe
If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel (here) then you may not know about my Etsy shop. You can visit it here. I have been sewing bow ties and selling them and I am really into it. However I have had to do a lot of sewing in front of mindless television. That means “Real Housewives of Various US Geography” and “Keeping Up with the
Krazies Kardashians” have been on day in and day out. Now I don’t necessarily have any inherent aversions to these TV shows. As I said in my Honey Boo Boo post way back when (here) I respect reality TV show stars for being fully committed to their lives, no matter how completely preposterous, repulsive, self-indulgent, or overall idiotic they may be. But I have noticed a recent trend in these shows. As a part of most of these series, around episode 9, they decide they need to go on a trip. Now due to the demographics that many of these shows represent, this involves some sort of 5-star resort in an otherwise “less-than-fabulous” country. For example, The Real Housewives of Orange County” recently went to Bali. Though Indonesia is an aesthetically beautiful country, it is also a country riddled with socio-economic problems, high levels of economic corruption, and, 15-years ago was the hardest hit country during the Asian financial crisis. These were certainly not the things that the show represented. Instead they drank a lot of alcohol at a beautiful resort and constantly giggled at the “foreign” elements of society that they witnessed.
Now here is my critique of this situation. I understand that these shows are not intended to be like ASPCA commercials where Sara McLachlan sings sad songs while we see flies flying around orphans. That would be terrible and poor Andy Cohen would be out of a job in an instant. However I am a huge proponent of social responsibility by people in entertainment. According to a few quick Google searches (which are always the most reliable) the RHOC have approximately 1,000,000 viewers per episode. That’s a pretty massive audience. Why would you not look at that as a platform to make some sort of statement? You don’t need to make this a UNICEF commercial. You don’t even need to make it some sort of charity event. But draw attention to something about these countries you’re visiting other than the fact that the resort is beautiful and the people have “funny accents”.
In a magical turn of events that I would have never expected in my life, I am going to compliment the Kardashians. As previously stated, good for them for living their lives and being “authentic” in the way they do it. I don’t necessarily understand why they are famous, but that’s another issue entirely. However in a recent episode they went on a family vacation to Thailand. While there they went to an orphanage and were able to offer a little bit of relief to these children who were in some seriously dreadful conditions. There was a brief period where Kim had a “I want to take one home” moment that was a little bit like a puppy adoption, which was weird, but in general it was a great moment. It showed what it was like for a celebrity to use their platform and the perks of their reality-TV lifestyle for good, not evil. So let’s just make that a thing that happens a lot. Because if I have to watch one more show where they talk about how quaint those lean-to houses with cardboard roofs are, I will burn my television.
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