Deni Dietz


I like reality shows. One of the reasons I like them is because watching them gives me a chance to catch up on my reading. If I’m watching a convoluted drama, I have to focus, pay attention.

Another reason I like reality shows is because 15 years ago I wrote a story called THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN BEAUTY PAGEANT and it was about a TV reality show [cue Twilight Zone music].

There are many (many) reality shows. I can’t watch them all, nor would I want to. And to be honest, "reality show" is a misnomer since most are taped. You could say Jeopardy is a reality show.

I watch than one.

I watch American Idol, too. I’m not sure why. American Idol isn’t about singing. It’s about the cheesy, guilty pleasure one gets from watching bad singing. The show starts out every year encouraging viewers to laugh at all of the really bad singers who audition.

A website called encourages viewers to have fun with — and embrace — American Idol’s suckiness by voting for the less talented contestants. Who did they choose last year? A grey-haired guy named…what was his name again? Oh, yeah. Taylor Hicks.

I like to watch So You Think You Can Dance, which I find mesmerizing. But I don’t watch Dancing With The Stars, which I find boring (and sometimes kind of embarrassing a’la Jerry Springer).

This summer I watched "Rock Star with the band formerly known as Super Nova."

Last year it was "Rock Star: INXS." Last year it was innovative, fun, and they invoked a real sense of suspense.

This year’s winner was a Marlon Brando look-alike (albeit shorter) kid with skunk hair — a Canadian named Lucas Rossi. No suspense. He was destined to win from Week One. Still, the show was worth watching because of the House Band and because of the "losers," Magni and Storm. [And, to be honest, I enjoyed watching Lucas’s eyebrows form twin peaks above his sunglasses.]

They’ve announced that there will be a Rock Star III, but I don’t think they’ve picked a group yet [rumours say it’s Van Halen], so here’s my Fifty Cents:

Rock Star: The Mamas and the Papas

Rock Star: The Supremes [it would be fun watching a guy try to win that one]

And, based on this season, ROCK STAR: Willy Vanilly

If you watch reality shows, which ones do you like? Jeopardy counts. Recently, Lou Byard, author of the mystery novel Pale Blue Eyes, appeared on Jeopardy. As Meredith Vieira would say, "He did great."

Speaking of reality… here’s my Quote of the Week:

President Bush said: "Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed. It must be chosen."

Is that what the president honestly thinks?  What, then, was the purpose of a war that has cost the US nearly a half-trillion dollars and 2,700 American lives? It wasn’t weapons of mass destruction. It wasn’t the link with 9/11. The gift of liberty to the people of Iraq was the last justification. I wonder if the president know the meaning of the word irony.

Next week I’ll be going walkabout, visiting the midwest (is Wisconsin, Chicago and Indiana still considered the midwest?) and my guest blogger will be the always-fun Gordon Aalborg — and boy, does he have a lot to say 🙂

Over and Out,

11 thoughts on “GET REAL

  1. Linda L. Richards

    Cue more TZ music: Rock Star is the only reality show I can stomach. I don’t know why. I think it’s because it’s less about personalities and more about just them performing. Or maybe it’s just a flaw in my character, but I really, really like it. Really. And I thought I was the only one who thought Lucas looked like a young Brando, though I couldn’t stand to watch Magni perform. (Something about the way the veins stood out on his head.)

    Most of the time, though, I’m not big on reality shows. Just too much reality, I guess. Give me a good ol’ brain dead sitcom any day of the week. They’re like candy for the brain. And sometimes that’s good.

  2. Iden Ford

    Re Bush, it is truly a sad legacy when leaders don’t learn from history. Tony Blair, probably the greatest post war prime minister the Brits have ever had, is going down because of a misguided decision. So sad, and such a waste and loss of life.

  3. Jeff Cohen

    Favorite reality show: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. That’s real, isn’t it?

    Bush: Gutsy move, Deni! Irony? No, I doubt he grasps the concept. Then again, I sometimes wonder if he understands the meaning of the word “president.”

  4. Beatrice Brooks

    Iden, I totally agree about Blair.

    Gutsy, Jeff? Not even close. Along with 249,999 others, I marched in the second Vietnam Moratorium Day: Washington DC, 1969. Back then, I wrote letters. I was opinionated, extremely vocal and 100% certain of my right to protest. Totally different era.

    Back then, reality shows were the CBS, NBC and ABC news.


  5. Pari

    Oof. Good one about the news, Deni.

    Frankly, I believe President Bush’s tenure has been a very bad drama — lousy writers, lousy actors.

    Re: reality showsI sometimes watch American Idol — but only at the end of the season. I can’t stand the mockery of the earlier shows; there’s enough nastiness in the world, I guess. I don’t believe that putting others down is funny anymore.

    Maybe it’s because I have younger children. Maybe it’s because I see an increasing lack of compassion and respect in our culture. Oh, hell, I don’t know.

    Other reality shows? I liked that INXS show alot. It wasn’t mean-spirited and there were some great performances. I wish I could watch the dancing one — but it’s on one of my Tae Kwon Do nights.

    Keee yah!

  6. Lorraine T.

    I can’t comment on reality shows because I don’t watch them.But, I am a big fan of the work of Gordon Aalborg so am psyched that he’s going to guest blog and look forward to reading whatever he has to say next Tuesday.Lorraine

  7. Beatrice Brooks

    Lorraine, with his usual Aussie/Canadian humour, Gordon will be “talking” about self-editing before submission. It’s a viable blog for published authors as well as non-pubs. He really does cut to the chase.


  8. Beatrice Brooks

    Pari, I watched a TV show on political blogs. They said that the ones that were disgruntled (love that word) with the war, outsourcing jobs, the budget deficit, not to mention congress voting themselves a hefty pay raise, were “preaching to the choir.”

    Fortunately, the choir is growing.


  9. Elaine

    I don’t watch reality shows either…like Pari…watching someone being humiliated is not my idea of entertainment.

    Looking forward to what Gordon has to say!


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