Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Would Like To Thank the Writer’s For Going on Strike

Back in November 2007, the Writer’s Guild of America, East and the Writer’s Guild of America, West started what began a strike that lasted 100 days. Scripted shows had to shut down no later than December 19, a move that not only effected current shows but the 2008/2009 pilot season as well. No writers means no scripts. No scripts means no shows. No shows means… What else? Reality show jackpot!

I’m not going to pretend I knew what demands the writers were making or whether or not they were being sensible. I don’t have a clue what was going on except that my shows seemed to be on replay (i.e. reruns). I’m going to throw a theory out into the universe; it may or may not have merit. I will say that had they not gone on strike, half of the reality shows that we have on television right now probably would not exist.


No NeNe, no Big Papa, no John and Kate. And what about Khloe, Kim, Kourntey, etc., etc., etc? Sure, some of these shows were on television prior to the writer’s strike (Real World anyone?), but I know that I wasn’t watching any of them. Why would I want to watch people that I don’t know live their spoiled, abundant lives when we have perfectly good drama, suspense, comedy and story lines on well scripted shows? And then it stopped. America scrambled for something to put on the boob tube.

The strike ended in February 2008, but it seems as though primetime television has yet to bounce back. It appears that there are some new shows starting this Fall season, but I have to ask myself… "Am I willing to replace a perfectly good reality show on my DVR for a scripted show?" If I look on my to-do list for my DVR, I see mostly reality shows. There is One Life to Live, General Hospital, Law and Order SVU, but then the rest are reality shows: The Real Housewives of Atlanta (I also record New York and New Jersey), Bridezillas, The Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Then there was Confessions of a Teen Idol, Sober House, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Project Runway, Rock of Love, Wife Swap. The list could just go on and on. Why are we so fixated on reality TV?

Thought #1 – We can relate. We all have some sort of dysfunction in our lives and these characters put the fun in dysfunctional. These REALITY shows are a REALITY check that everyone can be screwed up. Whether it is the affluent Housewives in their respective cities, or the pampered self-proclaimed princess brat that throws a flower arrangement to the ground because it wasn’t "blingy" enough and it didn’t reach her goal of showing everyone how much money she had (Shout out, Valerie Neito), it shows us that our families and lives could be a lot worse. After 60 minutes of entertainment we might just be able to turn off the tube and say, "Wow, my family isn’t as bad." Or as in the Bridezilla episode I referenced, I gave my then-fiancée a quick "see, it could be worse" smile of reassurance.

Thought #2 – We, as viewers, are simply nosey and voyeuristic. We love to know what happens behind closed doors. And with all access cameras set up behind the proverbial and literal door, our curiosity is satisfied. Don’t try to deny it. Look how many people pass by a traffic accident and stretch and strain to get a glimpse of some sort of blood or gore. It is just a fact of life. These shows give us an opportunity to see the drama play out right before our eyes:

  • The Jon and Kate break up – how will they adjust?

  • Sheree Whitfield didn’t get her "seven-figure lump sum" - we get to see her move out of her mansion and start supporting herself.

  • Kourtney Kardashian is pregnant – how will she handle the aches and pains, physically and emotionally, of impending motherhood?

  • Danielle Staub – when did you get hair extensions?

  • NeNe Leakes – who’s your daddy?

We can find all the answers to these questions just by turning on the TV. Now, as I get ready to watch this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (I hear that Kim is going to get her wig ripped off), I leave you with some of my favorite reality TV quotes:

"I like making my own money! I find that an aphrodisiac."
- Ramona Singer, The Real Housewives of New York

"They released me early because I was a threat to the prison. "
- Khloe Kardashian, Keeping Up With the Kardashians

"I get a chance to meet 25 amazing women, and I know one of them is going to be my wife."
- Jason Mesnick, The Bachelor

"It's not bad to wear a promise ring because not everybody - guy or girl - wants to be a slut."
- Jordin Sparks, American Idol

"I want, like, four. Maybe I'll adopt 10. I want to have my own orphanage like Mother Teresa."
- Heidi Montag, The Hills

"Your people give money with blood on it. I met your people in Las Vegas. None of them have last names. You’re a poker player. A poker player! That’s beyond white trash. Poker players are trash, darling, trash."
- Joan Rivers, The Celebrity Apprentice

P.S. Please be aware that not all of the details in this blog may be 100% factual. As a very wise female who is not a girl, yet not quite a woman pointed out, "This is a blog not a research paper!"


  1. Haha thanks for the shout out & calling me wise! I don't get that much lol good job on this post! I really liked it! Very true, too. I like the OC version real housewives, that's the only one I watch.

  2. Hello, I'm loving your great blog -your posts are really interesting so thanks very much for sharing them. Pictures are really good too !

    Happy weekend,

  3. Patrice... You know I wouldn't forget you!

    Elise... Thank you so much! I'm actually looking at life in "blogging glasses". I hope you enjoy reading the blogs as much as I enjoy posting. them!