Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Last Grasp At Relevancy Or How I Learned To Love The Camera And Started Getting Real

I am not sure who is to blame for this but I think I shall blame Ozzy Osbourne for the abundance of musicians having "reality" shows. Granted, he still had Ozzfest, world tours and platinum selling albums but had his show not been successful, there would be a fundamental difference in reality television from the musician's standpoint as in they, probably, would not exist. That, my friends, would be excellent.

As excellent as the thought of them not existing is, the truth is that they do. One top of that, they serve as two cheap promotional purposes. The first purpose is the obvious one: to promote a new album. Jessica Simpson, Fantasia and Diddy have all gone this route to promote albums that somewhere in the back of their minds, they knew people could care less about. Therefore, to promote moderate interest, the public gets a half-hour glimpse into the fascinating lives of these entertainers as they muse over the simple things in life in staged scenarios.

This purpose perfectly describes what to expect from the album. It is supposed to be exciting and interesting but is nothing more than a shameless show of flash and mediocrity at best. Yet, the albums sell which says very little (or lots) about the type of influence the media has over the type of albums being consumed by people on a regular basis. Perhaps, it could also mean that the actor-musician thing is, unless you are Jared Leto, a dead end and you have to be a musician, first, then an actor (of sorts), only to be a musician again. Let it also be noted that the only person this has really helped, to my knowledge, has been Jessica Simpson. Newlyweds definitely helped the sales of her and her ex-husband, Nick Lachey's, careers at the time. Still, that is two, too many musicians.

The other purpose follows the first one to a degree. It is to remain in the public eye of your older audience who might still care as well as become relevant to an audience born long after your glory days. I am guilty of watching these shows. In reality, do any of us care about the romantic pursuits and interests of Bret Michaels and Flavor Flav...not really. I am doubt that they even care about these things given that the relationships never work out and there is another season to film.

As humorous as this disaster is, it is completely unnecessary and serves very little purpose for entertainment. In terms of its contribution to humanity, it ranks somewhere between the minidisc and Limp Bizkit's search for a guitarist in 2003 What love are all of the musicians looking for? True love, fan love, spotlight love? What is it they seek and why can they not get it without cheapening their former glory?

These shows, in my mind, cheapen the memory of what might have been enjoyable about these artists. Sure, I like to sing along to "Talk Dirty To Me" but would prefer not to have Bret Michaels asking some woman to "rock my world" every week and the same can be said about Flavor Flav and "911 Is A Joke." A couple of these shows would not be as bad once every three years but every year or few months, there is some person needing promotion for an album release or wants to find "true" love. Needless to say, is it really possible to pull off either when the situations are manufactured, there are lights and cameras in your face, and a need to edit out hours of footage. 

Granted, I enjoyed the first season of The Osbournes but it was different. Now every Rock family wants to out-Ozzy Ozzy by claiming their family is either more fun, crazier or more hectic. Sure, you made/make music and happen to have a family, please leave it at that. There is no need to just be on TV for the sake of being on TV. It may be a paycheck but there are many days that the world have been a better place without Snoop Dogg saying "We're not the Huxtables. We make it comfortable and we don't make our kids eat their vegetables." As funny as that it, there is a part of the 14-year-old me that dies every time I say it. 

One can only think that it is a matter of time before their is a show to find the new Spice Girls, Baha Men or, worst, Village People. Watch, this time, they will consist of a garbage man, postal worker, coast guard, Inuit, bicyclist and Ryan Seacrest. Okay, I might watch that.

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