Reality TV is an obsession. It's not just typical of American culture, either. Many countries delight in humiliating common folks. That, of course, is the allure. It could be any of us. It could be your sister or brother on TV, hooking up with two people while being broadcast in night vision. Or it could be you.
Following are some of the trashiest and most salacious offerings you can currently find on TV. When is the writers' strike over? Oh, that's right. Guess I'll keep watching.
The King of Trash, in my opinion. I love this show, and I am sad to report that I still have a man-crush on the evil Dr. Will. His gameplay will live on in reality show history as the blueprint for winning a game without trying. But even Dr. Will's antics were not enough to save this show from the bane of Mike Boogie. The erstwhile restaurateur forever defamed himself and the show by his despicable manipulating of his showmance (I still hate that word) with the poor and clueless Erika. Boogie isn't the only reason for this show being one of the trashiest on TV. There are more than a few examples of bigotry, sexism and racism that went on inside the "Big Brother" house. I feel dirty when I watch it, and I guess that's my problem.
and Temptation Island
I'm grouping these two together because the only real difference between them is that one is on an island and the other is in a hotel. That hotel may even be an island...interesting. Regardless of the semantics and the settings, these two shows exist for one reason - to get small-minded people think to they're God's gift in a situation replete with alcohol and a total absence of responsibility. The challenges and games are thinly veiled attempts at turning this grunge fest into a game show. The real point of the show is to merely see how many different combinations of people can be videotaped in their underwear, hooking up while drunk. It must take a few industrial size containers of disinfectant to clean up after they're all done.
Real World/Road Rules Challenge
This wasn't always the case. The Real World
was a noble experiment, once. It paired people from different walks of life and threw them together into an apartment to see what would happen when seven strangers...well you know how it goes. This incarnation of the "Real World," whether it be the Gauntlet, the Duel or the Battle of the Sexes, has evolved into a mockery of the original program. These days the participants are no longer known to us, but they are essentially the same person. They're all 20-somethings (or in the case of Beth Stolarczyk., Mark Long and Eric Nies, somewhat older) who have so far been unable to find work in everyday society. They're basically clowns dancing for the amusement of the viewer. The cast may change, but you can rest assured, there will be drinking, smoking, assault and battery and various sexual encounters in different numbers and orientation. It may disgust you, but of course you're going to watch.
Flavor of Love
/Rock of Love
/I Love New York
What are two middle-aged music icons to do when they're unable to find their soulmates by the usual means of dating - going to bars or going online? And what does a nice woman, spurned by one of these icons, need to do to find the man of her dreams? The answer is go on TV and pimp themselves out to a bunch of freaks who are also looking for true love (or a chance to jump start their acting careers). I can't even imagine what it must be like for Flavor Flav
, Bret Michaels
, and Tiffany Pollard (better known as New York). I would hope that each of the contestants are tested for diseases before they move into the cesspool of their respective houses. Do I feel bad for the willing participants in this farce of celebrity matchmaking? No, I don't. In fact, they're doing a service to the rest of the world. Stay in that house because it leaves things a lot cleaner out here.
The Moment of Truth
The newest show to throw its hat in the ring of trashy reality. I can't imagine people willingly subjecting themselves to this type of examination. To put their relationships on the line in a foolish grab at money says something about these people. I would feel better about this one if I found out this stuff was staged, but sadly I don't think that's the case. The questions are cringe-worthy enough, but having to watch the loved one in question grimace each time the question is posed is almost too much. Is it really entertaining to ask a husband if he ever cheated on his wife with his wife sitting right there? Unfortunately, whatever empathy I have for the wife is gone when she urges him to answer because of how much money is at stake. But I guess it could be worse right? They could be on Dr. Phil
Story by Larry Grodsky
Starpulse contributing writer