Saturday, June 13, 2009

Reality bites...hard

A quick visit to the grocery store for a couple of necessities required standing in a long checkout line, looking at magazines with stories about Jon and Kate. Their reality show, Jon & Kate Plus Eight, about their life with one set of twins and one of sextuplets, is a big hit on cable TV. But putting a spotlight on Jon and Kate has led to some discussion about their marital fidelity. It goes against their wholesome family image, but I'm sure their ratings are boosted by all of the tabloid scandal.

In spite of their high profile and need for attention they seem to thrive on this sort of negative publicity, while protesting that none of it is true. Uh-huh. Like there aren't groupies out there ready to pounce on attractive people who star on TV. Maybe being around all those kids is so stressful they need to let off a little steam, heh-heh.

A more bizarre couple is Dog the Bounty Hunter and his corpulent mate, Beth. I watched this show a few times some years ago and watched it again the other night. It's in its sixth season. Dog, who is in reality Duane Chapman, has a leathery face that looks like a road map, and a long mullet hairstyle. He's a tough guy who goes after bail jumpers. The thing that mitigates the hardass image is the prayer he gives before going out to hunt down the bail jumpers. When he and his posse catch them they give lectures about walking a straight and narrow path. Huggy-time follows, when they send the malefactors off to jail after a big squeeze. Puh-lease, people. Talk about a need for attention.

Beth acts sexy and has major cleavage. With those humongous boobs, the cleavage is like looking into the Grand Canyon. She wears high heels, and you wonder how she balances on them with those heavy jugs pointing into the next block. Beth talks like a hick. The show I saw the other night had her clearing her kiddies out of the driveway, and her instructions to take the puppies so they wouldn't get "runned over." She also "seen" a guy. Dog talks better, but the whole group looks like a biker gang.

I don't make a habit of watching reality TV shows. I don't think they're anything near reality because that would only be true if people didn't know there was a camera on them all the time. I'd like to see Dog when the camera isn't rolling, and what he says or does to the bail jumpers then. I'll bet rather than hugs, more than a few of them have had his pointy-toed cowboy boots deeply embedded in their rectums.

The only reality show I ever liked with any regularity was Cops, which has been around since the 1980s. It's seen a whole generation of stupid people get busted and allow their faces to be shown on TV. See, that's the thing. People will do anything to get on TV. I saw a man on Cops once who was busted getting oral sex from a skanky, toothless prostitute. To look at her methamphetamine-face, all scabby and drawn tight over her skull, was to make you want to heave. Both of them signed the release forms that allowed the producers of Cops to broadcast their faces. That show aired originally over a decade ago but is still in reruns, so anytime the guy walks down the street someone can come up to him and say, "Hey, I saw you on Cops with that ugly ho. What's up with that, man?" But of course, protecting one's dignity, even in the midst of even the most egregious acts, doesn't seem to occur to Jon and Kate, Dog the Bounty Hunter, or the dumbasses on Cops who get busted on camera.

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