I abhor reality television. Or, more accurately, I find the current genre almost entirely without merit. Tacky, trite, and insipidly overblown, it is a monument to bad taste. Now, to be sure, painting with such a broad (and harsh) brush is always dangerous. Certainly there may be particular titles of value, and indeed "reality television" is a term so expansive that it may be construed to include much of legitimate interest. Thus, to be clear, I refer in the remainder of this post to the staged encounters found nightly on the major networks.
Recently I have begun to watch more and more reality TV, as part of my research for an ongoing novel-type project called The Candidate I've been kicking around. Now, although the ridiculous subjects, repulsive contestants, and repetitive challenges offend me as a television viewer (I mean, that the networks believe they can satisfy the public with such thin offerings is insulting; That they succeed is depressing) that isn't what struck me most profoundly. What gets me is the music.
If you ever stop and listen to the music they use for these reality shows, it's like they culled the score of Last of the Mohicans or something, threw in a Wagnerian opera, and added the first movement of Carmina Burana for spice. Judging by sound alone, you would think the assembled band of genetically disadvantaged misfits were trying to stop the Earth's imminent implosion or ensure the future of democracy.
The editing is likewise ridiculous. Blunt and heavy handed, episodes begin with a "review" of previous events that often bears little resemblance to what had occurred. Once you get to the broadcast itself, the show is interrupted by commercial sponsors at "dramatic" moments so often that it exceeds even the wildest limits of the cliche. Upon returning from an advertisement, what little time that remains before the next interruption is often shared by another miniature review of what happened just before the break.
Please understand that I do not object to reality television on some stodgy moral ground. I don't care if people decide to watch horse porn. Whatever (providing all participants are consenting adults). But that we have been inflicted with such a horrid parade of second-rate programming offends me as a connoisseur of television.