Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Living at Home in Your Late Twenties Part Three: Reality Television Abound in the Truman Show

Living home has been fun because it has inspired me to write in this blog much more, I had a bit of writers block for a bit, but there is so much material in living at home.  I could write 25 different chapters (but I won't be).  Last night I sat in front of television screen with my family, and is astounded me, and I had always known this, but the fact is they watch SO much reality television.  From 8 pm to 11 pm I watched The Biggest Loser, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Voice.  The only time I ever watch reality television is when I am at home (although I occasionally watch some cooking shows on Food Network and The Real Housewives.) 

Reality television has just never been for me full time, I can't watch a show where there is no character development, everyone seems fake and so happy with their experience, and even their scripted dialogue is bad.  I had to take a break at 9 pm and watch the season finale of Glee which was also disappointing, and felt just ho hum.  Watching all of these reality television made me think of a movie that discusses what it means to watch someones life from birth, The Truman Show.

The Truman Show (1998)  is directed by Peter Weir (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Dead Poet's Society) and starred Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank the star a reality television series that chronicles his life from birth up until well the time in which this movie takes place.  This alternate reality takes place in giant dome free from the outside world where the shows permanent director Christof (Ed Harris) controls not only the actors movements in Truman's life, but the the weather, the product placement etc.  The dangers of extreme reality television are portrayed in this film when Truman's girlfriend is kidnapped and Christof selects an actress named Hannah to play his future wife Meryl (Laura Linney).  Truman starts to realize his life is being controlled by producers and directors and wants out of his fake world, and into a real one that he can control where he can be with the woman he loves.

In our world where reality television monitors families and their "daily" lives I can't help but think that as viewers we need to stop indulging in this crap.  I admit I am guilty of watching these shows too, I have watched the guidos fist pump on the Jersey Shore, I have seen tables flipped on the Real Housewives, and I have seen people sing with bad pitch on American Idol.  Landing on television or in front of a camera is the dream for so many people, but there are some who would rather escape it.  I say accept your fifteen minutes and walk away then read a book!  I will end this blog with a youtube clip of Jim Carrey signing off.

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