It’s no secret at this point that reality TV is a genre built on the perverse pageantry of degradation. For years, the basic formula has been to fill a mansion with unstable wannabe actors, pit them against one another, feed them booze, and watch them fuck and fight. As long as everyone is of age (and has filled out the required paperwork indemnifying the network) it’s all fair game. There’s no law against people making fools of themselves on national TV.
But what happens when the genre’s demographic reach starts to invade childhood — when those caught in the manufactured mayhem are too young to protect themselves?
The answer is pretty simple: Exploitation.
The degradation is precisely why I never watch reality TV, and never will. It appeals to the worst in human pathology. Even the talent shows are just extensions of the Gong Show mentality of the ’70’s. Emotional porn.