I am in to the "lifestyle" type reality shows (as opposed to the competition style). They provide cheap entertainment and a nice little escape. I also enjoy the internet quite a bit (particularly the gossip wing of the internet). But- the trouble comes when these two pastimes collide.
Obviously, a big part of the appeal to these reality shows is that I am watching real people who, presumably, would be doing these things whether or not a camera was present. But then the internet comes along to ruin everything by telling what these people are "really" doing when the cameras are off. I always want to believe what I am being told by the shows I enjoy but the g-d web is constantly butting in with a cyber "nuh-uh! that's not what they're doing!"
One of my first experiences with this was the Hills. My incredibly supportive bro Mick constantly made fun of me and told me how fake it was. I denied it, argued with him, all that, and now even the people on that show aren't holding on to any illusion that their reality show is real.
The most recent example of this is Jon and Kate Plus 8. I will admit that I enjoy(ed) the show, mostly because the kids are cute (except for one of the twins- she is SO irritating. I wouldn't have given her water either, Kate). My enjoyment faded a bit when they moved in to their huge house- there is room for everyone to do their own thing (and for Jon and Kate to ignore each other) and I feel like there isn't as much face time with all the kids together. Whatever, I can deal. But then, Us Weekly comes around and sticks their big telephoto lens where it shouldn't belong and starts shooting off their mag about who is doing what when. This just makes me mad (at the media and the fam). For several reasons:
1. Don't cheat! Come on!
2. If you are on a reality show it should be part of your job to do all you can to support the "reality" you are feeding us. If you don't, get out of the spotlight and off my TV.
3. I feel bad that these kids are followed everywhere by cameras, though it was clearly brought on by their parents. Us Weekly- can you just leave kids alone? Watching the season premier was really hard because I started feeling bad for the family and then I felt guilty for reading the exact same publications and websites that were profiting from their constant surveillance. I do not want to feel bad for checking out usmagazine.com or picking up a magazine at the Target checkout. (Special thanks to Brett who quickly talked me down after I guiltily said "I shouldn't buy those magazines anymore!")
4. The show has become vague references to what the gossip media is saying, awkward "confessionals" and pity for the kids who have to live it. Cuz I think at least that part is true.