Lately we’ve seen a major shift in the general public’s attitude toward reality television. The people we were once enamored with have become like bile in the mouth of entertainment. Public outcry against the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Jersey Shore have ushered in this era of annoyance with reality television. The latest headlines include Star Jones’ call to action against Evelyn Lozada and the women of Basketball Wives, a show produced by Shaunie O’Neal (NBA great Shaquille O’Neal’s ex-wife), in the form of a petition to remove the show and it’s face-slapping, water-throwing antics off the air.
Over on E!, Kim Kardashian has amassed great fortune and fame from reality tv, but she is still most famous for the pornographic footage which she recorded, released for pay, and subsequently asked everyone to pretend never existed. The pornographic recording made her a household name and her expensive and monetarily beneficial marriage to the NBA’s Kris Humphries, which ended 72 days later per Kardashian’s request, is threatening to take her delicate name out of household’s everywhere and her pretty face out of Hollywood’s Elite Society (So elite that I capitalized it). But people get divorced all the time. How could this be the thing which is bringing Kardashian down, whereas it seems to be bringing people like Atlanta Housewife NeNe Leakes into another realm of sustainable stardom, also known as real acting parts?
Here is where willwriteforlove does the reality stars and reality star wannabes a free favor and breaks down the rules of reality. Because if you’re going to play the game, you had better not to foul out.
Don’t become famous from a sex tape/porn.
Here’s why: If you have to stoop to the level of degradation where self-esteem is as real as a unicorn and where the idea to make a public sex tape is conceived, the chances that you have any discernible talent hover slightly above zero percent. And if you have no discernible talent you 1) shouldn’t be famous 2) won’t be able to hold onto fame for very long nor use it to it’s full extent (Although Kardashian is giving it a really good effort) 3) won’t be able to bounce back when people do tire of you because you have no discernible talent to reacquaint us with, unless of course you want to make another sex tape.
Need proof: See Paris Hilton.
Editor’s note: I believe everyone has talent, but very few find and utilize their talent. That’s another post entirely.
Don’t be a bully.
Here’s why: There is a nation-wide campaign going on against bullying. It has gotten real in, not the streets, but the school playgrounds. Kids are taking their own lives over their peers' blatantly preventable behavior that spawns from a number of factors with the most important factor being piss-poor parenting. No exceptions. So when the viewer turns on the television and sees a bunch of over-30 women clawing at each other, stealing from each other, and putting dead fish in each others’ hotel rooms, the reason for America’s sudden rebellion toward reality tv becomes apparent.
Proof: In order to give you proof I would have to suggest that you watch a show like this. Out of respect for you, I'll decline. Just take my word for it.
Don’t oversaturate your market, unless you’re famous by way of sex-tape or foolishness, in which case you had better saturate the market until it bleeds because you don’t get a second shot. Again, see Paris Hilton. And in about six months, see Kim Kardashian as well.
If you’re famous by actual talent and just happen to be on a reality tv show (Jessica Simpson, LaLa Anthony, Brandy), it would be best for you to either use your reality tv appearances as a quick stimulus for your career and not as a career itself. Reality television is not code for “stop doing what we made you famous for”. It’s code for “scripted television which we watch despite its utter lack of interesting elements because the TV Writer’s Strike made reality tv shows reproduce like mutant rabbits and now we can’t get rid of the crap.” Bummer.
Proof: Brandy Norwood.
Diversify your market. Different from don’t oversaturate your market because over-saturation is concentration in one area. Willwriteforlove’s advice is that if you’re a singer or actor on a reality show, come out with a fingernail polish line. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter what you come out with, just make sure you call it a LINE. Clothing line. Perfume line. Corn Chip Line. Fast Food Line. It really doesn’t make a difference; the fact that you already have enough talent and fans to have gotten a reality show (this assumes you have both) means that you can push new and exciting products to those fans and see a profit as well as a crossover into a new fan base.
Proof: Jessica Simpson.
Get out alive. Not physically alive, although that would be preferable, but brand alive. The only reasons anyone should consider doing a reality show are the following:
1) You have talent. Discernible, marketable, proven (by sales) talent.
2) The fans of your talent have been BEGGING you for a chance to peek into your life.
3) You are not happily married (because a reality show will end that in a New York minute).
4) You do not have kids (people will judge your parenting skills and your brand will take a hit).
5) You want more for yourself than a reality show. If the show is the end and not the means, you’ve missed the point entirely.
Proof: Jessica Simpson for the win.
I can't be the only one who has thought of rules? So what are YOUR rules for reality tv? Let us know in the comments section!
Until the next scene,