So-called reality TV has become a staple of broadcasting in the 21st century. I say so-called because if much of that is real, it is so only in a bizarre parallel universe.

I mean if you have The Real Housewives of Orange County, or Atlanta, or New York or D.C. or New Jersey or West Alexander, Pa. on TV, what does that make the women who stay home, budget for the family, take care of the kids, see that the house doesn’t fall apart and occasionally find the time to look lovely beyond belief and who provide excellent care and comfort to their husbands? Unreal? That’s unreal.

And to have a chance as a bachelor to dwell temporarily in a mansion with 25 attractive, though overly-materialistic, marriage minded (or at least publicity-minded) babes and court them while pretending I really give a rat’s ass which one I will make a huge on-screen commitment to that everyone, except the fourteen sad lovelorn women out in TVland with no lives of their own, knows is a complete farce would be great for me if all I am is a horny guy with no scruples who is too cheap to buy his own roses or rent his own limo, just the type of man every woman dreams of. But, alas, I do buy my own roses.

And every guy dreams of being in competition for the hand of a lady with 24 other dudes, most of whom are probably packing more than you are and the lady in question is certain to enthusiastically conduct her own extensive investigation of the truth of that remark when the only time men truly enjoy such a setup is when they are all in the same room at the same time taking turns but where any participation beyond sloppy seconds is considered gauche.

At least the old Dating Game gave some credibility to contesting for a date with no promise of anything other than a chaperoned trip to downtown Van Nuys for the Saturday farmers’ market with the hope of a little footsie playing at the malt shop even though the female contestant hinted at expert knowledge of the Kama Sutra in her answers to the dopiest questions when on the air.

While Chuck Woolery guaranteed to be back in “two plus two” on The Love Connection, the recaps of most dates gave the impression that the participants had long ago been disconnected for non-payment.

Just a few glimpses of the MTV dating show where the parents of the dater, distraught over the boy/girl friend choice of their demon seed offspring, choose a potential new partner for that product of their own unfortunate experience with a broken condom and, viewing the date with the current partner, have to endure verbal insults from that spoiled brat that definitely inclines one to vote not only for the return of corporal punishment for children but its mandatory use up to and through the age when the children qualify for Social Security.

The Millionaire Matchmaker attempts to bring young, wealthy, socially backward men together with their rash selection from a bevy of attractive, singularly unaccomplished, usually much younger women pretending to be anything but golddiggers. If they’re not why aren’t they flocking to The Love Connection instead? Then these men, so stupid they must have gained their fortune chasing a leprechaun around a magic forest and torturing him until he revealed where his gold was stashed, end up on a dream date with a woman who pretends to like him for himself and not his super big…..wallet. You can almost see them walking into the sunset with visions of happily ever after, but, looking closely, one can see the gold-leafed printed business card of the highest priced divorce attorney in the area hanging like an unsnipped price tag from the neck of the woman’s outfit. Then the man will discover it was actually cheaper to keep the $1000 a night hookers on call for his pleasure.

The “living together” shows, where ostensibly a group of strangers of varied backgrounds and personalities are thrown together either in competition where they are successively voted off or their antics are tracked so the audience can make an unofficial determination of which participant is most likely to commit first degree murder with aggravating circumstances, that element easily borne witness by millions of aggravated viewers. But these “housemates” or “survivor mates” differ only in the degree of obnoxious and appalling behavior they exhibit. Otherwise none of them would be welcome in any neighborhood which takes an ounce of pride in itself. Bedford Falls no….Potterville yes. The most disgusting one is Big Brother on CBS where the network chief, Les Moonves, permits his otherwise attractive and seemingly intelligent wife, Julie Chen, to host. Perhaps this is punishment for her bouncing a check at Safeway.

Caesar had his Triumvirate. Jersey Shore has JWow, Snooki and The Situation. Those aren’t suitable nicknames for a family of head lice. But the head lice do have the higher IQ and a more natural tan.

I never watch Animal Planet. My interest in the animal kingdom is pretty much limited to the doggy position. But I will bet dollars to donuts that the stars on that channel are more honest and have more common sense and exhibit more dignity than the stars of all these other shows combined.

All those competition shows are on where you have to prove you are the best cook, model, dancer, singer, designer. Next thing you know America’s Got Autoeroticism will take the air with men and women competing to see who has the most creative and effective masturbatory techniques. (Not aired in Delaware). There can be different categories for each week, much like Idol has country weeks, Elvis weeks, Motown weeks, etc.Autoeroticism can feature  solo, mutual, group, hand only, vegetable, small animal, electronic aids…just think of the possibilities. But will a male contestant have to cart his own vacuum cleaner all the way from Alton, Ill?

Speaking of American Idol, doesn’t the bible teach us it is wrong to have an idol? Didn’t the Jews have to wander in the wilderness for forty years because of the golden calf? (And did folks complain that the phone vote for the calf was fixed?)

America’s Got Talent?………….NO, it doesn’t.

Those “men at work” programs can stretch the bounds of credibility. What about that one where a steroid freak with undoubtedly shrunken testacles chases wanted criminals, using brute force and an ultra-macho attitude to track these felons down and subdue them. And occasionally Dog The Bounty Hunter will even help his wife do this.

I watched an episode of some auto repo show where the repo team drove out into the desert to find the subject vehicle at a compound where activity of a violent criminal nature was occurring more so than any failure to make a monthly payment and the bad guys commence shooting at the repo men while the film crew filmed and got the entire incident on camera where any criminal worth his salt, in fear of conviction, would surely have killed the cameramen and destroyed the evidence. WAIT!!! I think I just found the script for this ” spontaneous” event online.

What all this tells us is that what you think you’re seeing is not what you’re getting. For those who crave “Reality TV” , please take comfort. I hear a new version of Fantasy Island is in the works.

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