Sleazy reality TV shows provide guilty pleasure

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Rebecca Kelliher
Editor-in-Chief

Bikini-clad girls with dyed platinum-blonde hair prance around a tacky mansion determined to prove the old mantra “Blondes have more fun.” Drooling behind them are the classic hard-talkin’ gangstas with muscles the size pineapples as these G’s obviously try to compensate for something. Completing the cast of this charming specimen of television is none other than a yapping, pink-bowed Chihuahua.

You many wonder what show could possibly degrade itself to thrust such crude, cheesy creatures into one room, let alone an entire competition. Why, another fine VH1 reality show, of course. The very title, I Love Money, says almost everything the viewers need to know about the competitors.

You may also wonder who would watch such a senseless, stereotypical, unbelievable demeaning show. I would. Of course.

Despite — no — because of I Love Money’s flagrant exploitation of such obnoxious, type-cast civilians, I can’t help but divulge in this guiltiest of all guilty pleasures.

In this twisted version of an experimental rat race where the winner gets $250,000 and the chance to embarrass himself in front of approximately 320 million people, nice guys will almost certainly finish last. The rather raunchy show makes backstabbing your best friend or lover (oftentimes both) almost a requirement as contestants prove to be some of the most fascinating, most vulgar, most compelling products our nation has to offer. It sounds oddly appealing already.

Watching I Love Money is just as telling of human nature as is the almost-instinctual craning of one’s neck through the car window to catch a glimpse of a car crash. We enjoy watching the show just as much as we love to bring celebrities and politicians to unbelievable heights of fame and adoration only to watch them crash and burn, or as much as we love heart-breaking tragedies which are usually more popular than comedies such as how we often remember Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet more than we remember Twelfth Night.

I Love Money provides an exhibition of greedy, selfish, tasteless and uninhibited characters seemingly incapable of self-control. But that’s exactly the point.

The executives of VH1 have tapped into an ever-flowing vein of money and interest by appealing to an intriguing, disturbing truth about human nature: We love a good train wreck, possibly more than we love a happy ending.

I have to admit, though, my cheeks burn red when I think of how this show provides such a trashy representation of America. I definitely cringe a little inside at how those dark-rooted blondes seem to virtually undo the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emily Dickinson and even fictional Carrie Bradshaw with one, frivolous, vain comment after another.

But, I’m human. And bored, and when I want some mindless amusement or just another excuse to procrastinate the infinitely intimidating college search, cheesy reality shows are always there, lurking in the depths of my little black TV.

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