The Ponderings of Mr. Peay: Unfathomable TelevisionPosted: February 1, 2012
Television is a curious thing, isn’t it? I never cease to be amazed at the ease with which the people I live are drawn to it. Lately, the lady with whom I live (henceforth to be known as Missus) has taken to watching a particular show that would fall, I assume, into the genre of reality television. The women on the show, created by BravoTV in its infinite wisdom, claim to be housewives. Now, I’m not precisely sure what constitutes housewifery, but something about the definition appears skewed on this particular show. They shop, eat, throw parties, attend parties, love, and hate all in the name of reality. I, however, remain skeptical. Though my social experience has a limited reach, I have never seen adults behave as these do.
Missus defends her behavior by saying that watching these shows is a bit like watching a train wreck: you know what’s coming, and you know you should probably change the channel. But somehow it becomes impossible. I always find it amusing to watch Missus’ facial expressions change from apathetic stare to twisted surprise, and I find myself drawn to drama. Whether or not it is real or scripted is irrelevant. We, Missus and I, find it entertaining if only for a brief moment.
I try not to think too deeply about what it means that we spend so much time watching the shows in all their various locales. Does it really matter? If the purpose of television is in any small way to entertain, then the Real Housewives franchise has accomplished that purpose. So please, don’t judge us too harshly. We are only participating in the construction of popular culture in a way that only BravoTV can make possible.