Are Las Vegas “Housewives” Not Real Enough for Reality TV?
I hear many people say that reality television is not real. And in one aspect, I get it. On the other hand, I believe that in order for a reality show to be successful, it has to be one thing- real.
Reality television shows may not be scripted, but producers set up a story board based on the drama that authentically (and always) unfolds.
I look at the reality shows that have been wildly popular. John and Kate Plus 8 was a mega success, but that’s back when the lives of Jon and Kate were raw and heartfelt. Watching the unique struggles of this couple caring for six babies and two preschoolers was joyfully- and often painfully- authentic. Between diaper changes and meltdowns, many Americans could relate to the reality of caring for one or two children, let alone eight. You could watch Kate, pre-stardom and pre-plastic surgery, grocery shopping with calculator in hand as she worked magic to feed ten people on one salary. I don’t know about you, but witnessing that achievement could be compared to watching Evil Knievel jump the Caesar’s Palace fountain (wait, he didn’t make it though, did he?). The producers pulled no punches as viewers got to see Kate, grumpy and sleep deprived, snapping at “poor” Jon. As a mother we’ve all been there, right? And with only a fraction of the kids.
When Kate reached stardom and her show went from “real” to all “show”, the public became wildly uninterested, or at least I did.
In the name of research, I recently tuned in to Duck Dynasty to see for myself why a show about a family who manufactures duck calls could be so popular. After belly laughing for about twenty minutes, I got it. The show is successful because it’s hilarious and- you guessed it- real. When these lovable hillbillies (if it’s politically correct to call them that) decide to trade in their shotguns and bandannas for publicists, red carpets and mobile applications, the viewers may indeed become bored with them as well.
There has been much speculation as to why Sin City Rules was cancelled. Was it too controversial? Were there mob ties, law suits or secrets that led to its untimely demise? The answer is not that complicated or sinister. Sin City Rules was cancelled because the ratings stunk. The show premiered with ratings less than one-fourth of what they anticipated, then rapidly declined from there. The bottom line is, the public did not like the show… not because it was edgy, but rather because it was boring.
While it might be captivating to get a glimpse of an unassuming person living an exceptional life, it’s boring to tune into a reality show where the subjects are already assuming they’re stars.
Before the show even aired, many of the Sin City Rules “stars” were scrambling to hire high level publicists and devising ways to capitalize on their new-found stardom. While Amy Hanley was laying out plans for her new “clothing line” and leaking unflattering naked photos of herself to the press (who were, in turn, not interested), Alicia Jacobs was bragging about dating a good percentage of the celebrities she interviews (while at the same time wondering why viewers don’t find her reporting credible).
When someone is jumping up and down and turning cartwheels to say, “Look at me! I’m rich, unusual and fascinating!”, people in general may not find you fascinating.
When other Real Housewives shows have taken off and are growing strong, one has to wonder why the Las Vegas version flopped. I admit it- I’m a huge fan of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange County and New Jersey (don’t judge). I watch these shows while working out on my elliptical machine as a means to justify watching such mindless television. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Theresa, cringe when I have to endure a scene with Kim in it and secretly wish that I was Lisa Vanderpump.
TLC’s Sin City Rules may not have been the first “Las Vegas Housewives” show attempt. In late April, 2011 Bravo maintained that there will not be a Real Housewives of Las Vegas despite reports that camera crews were in the city of sin shooting wealthy wives across town and testing out possible candidates. Whether Bravo found the ladies of Las Vegas too exciting or too boring, we’ll never know.
Perhaps third time’s a charm, and we’ll get a Survivor Las Vegas Housewives season.
Catch the first (and last) season of the show that some are saying was “too hot for television”- TLC’s Sin City Rules:
Some other reality show clips:
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