When Fame Is Not Worth The Paycheck: How Reality TV Sacrifices Family And Common Sense

August 9, 2013  |  

Reality television has changed TV as we know it. Rather than look forward to catching up on your favorite drama or comedy, we now set our DVRs to see “what’s real” on shows like Love & Hop Hop Atlanta‘ and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I am willing to bet that many network execs continue to kick themselves in the head for spending millions of dollars on shows that may not make it through a single season when they can follow around ordinary people doing ordinary things for less money.

The fact is, reality TV as we know it has evolved with more and more people trying to get in on the action. You can barely turn three channels without seeing promotions for an upcoming show that makes you ask yourself, “Are they really going to put that on TV?” Why shouldn’t they considering we are all guilty at some point or another of watching senseless grown folks fight, and people air their dirty laundry that even the most ratchet of people would try to conceal. The more we continue to tune in, the fewer boundaries there are on shows.

Reality stars enjoy the fame and for good reason. They collect thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars for living life. And this doesn’t include magazine interviews, endorsement deals and branding opportunities.

Recent news about the legal troubles facing Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her husband has me looking at my computer sideways. There is some hard time that’s on the line — 50 years in the slammer for 39 counts of fraud. Have we not learned anything from Wesley and Lauren regarding skipping out on your taxes? You are a public figure showboating a lavish lifestyle on television! Uncle Sam is going to want his pay boo.

When does it stop being entertaining to see families break up over craziness? I can’t help to not think about the four children who are going to be the ones who really suffer in this case. And even though her family member co-stars on RHONJ may or may not have known the severity of her issues, can you really continue shooting on a show that is documenting the downfall of your flesh and blood? Mark my word, one of them is going to talk to the magazines about stepping up and taking care of the kids should both parents go to jail. I can only wonder if they will get paid for their “generosity” and continue to film on the show allowing cameras in on the aftermath.

The Giudices are only one example of reality stars who sacrifice what’s most important for fame and fortune. Jon and Kate Gosselin were some of the first to set the bar on crazy with their former hit show, Jon and Kate Plus 8. Following them and their eight children, reality soon became a nightmare as allegations of cheating began to surface. Separating and later divorcing, both Jon and Kate were willing to do whatever they could to remain in the limelight.

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