We shouldn’t be surprised by anything that comes out of Hollywood or, by extension, the world of television.
A friend of mine once noted that the word television is more than correct because it is simply tale-a-vision. He’s right, of course.
But “reality TV” birthed the notion that television might just bring to its audience the everyday lives of everyday people doing everyday things in front of millions of people watching their supposed private lives.
We soon found out that “reality TV’ is nothing of the sort. It is simply a novel way of producing television shows without having to pay actors. Certainly the participants in the shows get paid, but what they make is a pittance when compared to what actual television and movie stars make.
One article I recently read put the monetary compensation of one reality television participant at $30,000 an episode, which is a great deal of money. But compare that to the $300,000 or more than many actors get paid per episode and you can see why the producers like reality television so much.
And these shows are not really “reality.” They are filmed and produced for entertainment and as such they must be entertaining. After all, how many people would really sit down and spend time in front of the television watching what people actually do in the real world?
Waking up; getting ready for work; working at one’s job; coming home, cooking, cleaning and doing the mundane chores that we all do on a daily basis; how entertaining is that?
I was fortunate last fall to meet and talk with James Drury, star of the television western “The Virginian.” He said one of his most ardent desires is for people to stop watching “reality” shows because for every one on television at least three actors are put out of work.
I would go further and say that “reality TV’ is nothing more than a cheap way to produce television shows and use people as props to entertain people through degradation and humiliation.
* * *
And then there are the Kardashians; famous for being famous. The mother of the clan carefully orchestrated the family into a reality show that, since 2007, has brought the lives of the family into the homes of millions of people.
Personally I don’t care what the Kardashians do. But apparently there are millions of people out there who do. And therein lies the problem.
People, especially young, impressionable ones, follow these kinds of celebrities and even attempt to emulate their lives.
We have all become jaded when it comes to celebrities living together without being married and having children. It has become so accepted that we no longer even give it a second thought.
But the latest from the Kardashian clan takes the cake.
Kim Kardashian, who is not even divorced from her husband, acknowledged she is pregnant by another man, Kanye West. Great! How’s that for setting an example for our nation’s youth?
Admittedly she and her estranged husband, Kris Humphries, have been separated for more than one year, but the “reality” is they are still married.
There was a time in this country when a marriage was still a marriage until a judge or a jury granted a divorce. Once upon a time if either of the two parties going through a divorce was caught in a relationship with anyone other than the spouse it could be used against them in court. No longer.
Now people can live in the same house, under the same roof, and still get a divorce.
And now, apparently, a “reality” television star can marry someone as an apparent publicity stunt, call it quits after 72 days, file for divorce and then go about her merry way having sex with someone other than her husband, get pregnant and find that her popularity just grows and grows along with her middle.
Folks, that ain’t reality. That is pure and simple trash. I don’t care if the Kardashians are popular and wealthy. Kim is trash.
* * *
But, alas, there is hope. Rob Kardashian, the 25-year-old brother in the clan, has been quoted as saying; he plans to wait until he is married before having children.
You want an example for your children? There is at least one Kardashian out there who seems to be worthy of emulation.
Kerlin’s roots go back generations in southwestern Fayette County. He’s a regular columnist for this newspaper.