Reality TV Meltdown
Andy Warhol once said “in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”,
Disclaimer: apparently if one is writing an article on reality TV, there is some form of statute requiring one to use that quote.
I can personally see merits of looking to Warhol for wisdom, I will happily dig a bit deeper into the workings of a Midas mind that can exchange pictures of soup cans for vast sums of actual money and positively embraces the mad albino scientist bouffant whilst he’s doing it. So let’s just say, he was in fact talking about reality TV.
There now exists a cosmos of pseudo stars that have already had their 15 minutes of fame, won a little public acclaim and are now desperately clawing at the greasy pole of televisual exposure for another 15 minutes. No. Leave it alone, unless you have a discernable talent that doesn’t involve exhibiting the more vain-lined parts of your anatomy then call it a day. You can’t sustain a career on being ‘a bit of a laugh’ or ‘better than the one, you know, the one with that thing he did’ and rightfully so. Fame was traditionally earned through varying degrees of merit, and whilst the democracy of viewer ratings still counts for something it doesn’t give you unlimited dominion in the hearts of millions.
‘Catapulting’ is a term often used in relation to reality TV participants, and being ‘catapulted’ to fame is, oddly enough, a very apt description for a lot of these people. When something is catapulted it very quickly reaches an impressive zenith, people may stare up at the projectile in wonder and awe, and think “wow, look at that, I’ve never seen that particular brand of ballistic trickery before” – but the excitement quickly dulls and the hapless missile falls out of the sky and lands with a silent thud back in the no-man’s land of obscurity. Even Z-listers with really genuine smiles and nice teeth can’t escape gravity.Continued on the next page