Reality Shows’ Reality

A little Ghanaian girl gets home from school and rushes through her homework so she can watch TV. While her classmates are hooked on Tom and Jerry, or Phineas and Ferb, or some other cartoon which the world has clearly, repeatedly and accurately labelled as ‘fiction’, the aforementioned girl takes the DSTv remote and switches to E!.

After all, why should the random escapades of creatures who don’t really exist interest her, when there are actual people whose actual lives are filmed for the public to see? This is reality. That’s why they are called ‘reality shows’, isn’t it?

“Welcome to your favourite show, **fill in the blank** with your host **fill in the blank** where we tell you which celebrities are binge-spending their cash on random thousand-of-dollars-worth junk like **fill in the blank**.”

One cannot help but cast one’s mind back to the many times one has foregone a Christmas present from one’s parents, because the options were to keep the family fed or to spend money on an object one would use for a month and get bored of. No binge-spending in this family, for sure.

Next, tune in to “Rich Kids of **fill in the blank**, where ten-year-olds complain, “My Dad got me the iPad **fill in the model** plus the iPod **fill in the model** plus two-thousand dollars for the month…but the iPad had 64GB memory, instead of 128GB…I hate him. He never listens to me.”

Aforementioned little girl continues to stare at her LED TV screen, knowing that she is by no means poor, but this gift is a bit…much. She begins to notice that these kids are unrealistically bratty, and doubts the credibility of these ‘reality’ shows.

Mother comes home, and requests, “Come and wash the dishes, eh?”

Girl replies, “Mummy, Kylie Jenner is a teenager, and even she doesn’t wash dishes.”

Cue two sharp slaps across the face.

She washes the damn dishes.

Next day, repeat the homework-to-TV routine. This time, she wonders, “How are these shows benefiting my life?” She is unable to come up with a logical answer. She tries again, “What reason do I have to care about the affairs of these airhead celebrities who I am never going to meet?” No answer presents itself.

She switches from E! and proceeds to watch Phineas and Ferb, which actually makes her laugh, and before you know it, she’s coming up with crazy ideas of her own.

Years later, this girl is a famous cartoonist, whose show has been running successfully for three seasons. Reminiscing, she says to herself, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t rise to fame through a sex tape?”



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