Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reality that's a little " Too Real" for me

I must admit---I have a dirty little secret---I watch "some" reality TV. Now I'm not interested in the shows that have husbands and wives who are tempted to see if they can stay faithful when accosted by the opposite sex, or shows where the contestants have to eat bugs, but strangely, I do get all weak in the knees when I see Gordon Ramsey throw a frying pan across the room because someone's risotto is clumpy. (I think he reminds me of myself when cooking in my own Hell's Kitchen)

While I do find many of these shows amusing, I'm saddened by the recent "real life" murder mystery surrounding reality TV star Ryan Jenkins (Meagan Wants a Millionaire) and the bikini model he was briefly married to.

Last weekend, Jasmine Fiore was found strangled and stuffed in a suitcase with her teeth and fingers missing. Jenkins who is the prime suspect, is on the run and believed to be in Canada. Criminologists think he killed Jasmine in a fit of jealousy and dismembered her so no one would know her identity. Police were able to identify the girl because of a serial number on her silicone breast implant.

The fact that this apparent monster was allowed to participate on a TV show, that if he had won, could have put him in another intimate relationship with an unsuspecting woman, disturbs me on many levels.

First, aren't these people vetted before being accepted as part of the show's cast? If they are, with this man's violent history (he had been arrested before on charges of abusing women) why was he allowed to participate? Could his so called "personality disorder" have been overlooked because the "crazies" make for good TV?

Finally, if Ryan Jenkins tried to conceal Jasmine's identity by dismembering her, we have to wonder where he learned such a trick. My guess? On shows like CSI. It makes me wonder what will happen the next time some freak tries to kill someone and now knows that breast implants have serial numbers on them.

In an age where our values keep going down and the price of fame keeps going up, I think I'm going to give up Hell's Kitchen and switch back to ABC Family. Oh, but wait,the last time I stopped there all I saw was a bunch of teenage girls having sex with a bunch of teenage boys and then calling each other nasty names. The focus of the show was about how "normal" that behavior is in our high schools. Yes, that screams "family values" programming to me. (Get Real!)

I guess it's time to give up all reality and "R" rated tv (sorry Gordon) and pull out the old "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Andy Griffith" dvd's. At least the craziest thing they show is a mother who loves her family to the point of a mild neurosis, and a deputy who is a bit trigger happy when trying to hog all the glory for himself.

Perhaps the shows are too simplistic for some, and the concept of love and family may even seem boring by today's standards. For me, not so much. Now that people are dying after hooking up with the narcissists who make up the casts of reality television shows, good ol' family love seems just fine to me. What do you think?

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