Reality TV needs a reality check

2014-01-12T00:00:00Z Reality TV needs a reality checkBy Bonnie Henry Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The only modern-day reality show I’ve ever seen was the first episode of “Survivor.”

“What a dumb idea. That will never last,” I predicted. Which perhaps explains why I didn’t buy Microsoft for $21 a share back in 1986, or Apple for a buck more back in 1980. Sigh.

Nope. Prognostication has never been my strong suit. Meanwhile, reality shows have continued to ceaselessly ooze over the airwaves and into our homes, from “Jersey Shore” to “Mob Wives,” “Honey Boo Boo” to bearded Bible thumpers straight out of the bayou.

Denigrate ’em? Heck no. I wanna join ’em. Um, well, maybe not the fellas in the swamp. But I sure wouldn’t mind raking in the moola some of these “stars” seem to make, particularly if it involves little more than being obnoxious and teetering around on 6-inch stilettos.

In other words, no losing 127 pounds or munching on worms for me. However, for those of you not quite so picky (Say, isn’t that a requirement for reality divas?) here are a few of the latest casting calls for reality shows, gleaned straight from the real-life website

  • “Network casting for Momma’s Boys!!! Are you the ultimate Momma’s Boy?!!! We are now casting a brand new reality show on a major network that will feature and follow a mother-son duo who are co-dependent, funny, outgoing ...”
  • “Are you obsessed with yourself? Do you spend hours a day grooming, putting on makeup or looking in the mirror? If so, apply now to be on our show!” (Anyone named Kardashian need not apply.
  • “Now casting: ‘Pistol Packing Pastors,’ ‘Renegade Reverends.’ We are looking for ‘Outlaw Clergymen’ for a new docuseries which will follow the lives of men of the cloth who live their lives outside the mainstream ideals of what a religious leader should be.” (Hmmm – or should that be hymn?)
  • Nudist matchmaker: “Are you a matchmaker who caters to the nudist community? A reality television production company is looking for a matchmaker who either is a nudist or caters to nudist clientele.” (Wardrobe allowance included.)
  • Trucker couples: “Do you work together to make sure your load arrives on time and in one piece? Do the challenges on the open road test the strength of your relationship?”
  • Rappers and lawyers: “Are you an up-and-coming rapper that (sic) has a Jewish lawyer you just can’t do without? We would love to hear from you.”
  • “Now casting single cowboys! Strap up your boots and get ready for an adventure. We are looking to cast some single, real deal cowboys ages 21-35.” (Horse optional.)
  • “Obsessed with bingo? Reality production company seeking women obsessed with bingo. Do you attend the most hardcore bingo games in the country? Do you take the game seriously, have good luck charms, cause brawls?” (Seriously? Bingo?)
  • “Casting Southern gay dads. We want to hear what it’s like to be a gay father in the South.”
  • “Gold digger problems? Are you a glamorous, younger woman who knowingly married a man for his money and now regrets it? Are you considered a gold digger because you date/marry men because of the size of their bank accounts?”

OK, time for a little reality intervention here: Gee, sweetie, why not eliminate the middleman, so to speak? With the right reality show — “obsessed with yourself” somehow comes to mind — the only bank account that will matter is your own.

Bonnie Henry’s column runs every other Sunday. Contact her at

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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