Brace Yourself: TV is Fake

June 13, 2012

Humor

Is he going to notice the mold on the windowsill?! Is he going to notice the — MOLD!! THERE’S MOLD ON THE WINDOWSILL!! LOOK OVER THERE!! Oh, man, this is exciting TV!

In news that could prove quite shocking to no one, more and more reality TV shows are turning out to be fake.  I know.  Fakery reigns, from Survivor inserting fake footage to make the challenges look more exciting, to participants on multiple shows being goaded into fighting, to it turning out that the contestants on Cash Cab aren’t random, but carefully selected and screened, to the revelation that the HGTV show House Hunters usually features people who are in fact totally and definitely hunting for a house, except for the fact that they’re not.  Apparently most of the featured people on this program have already bought a house, and then they pretend to look at other houses before inevitably choosing the house they’ve already signed the loan for.  Often, apparently, the houses the people are taken to look at aren’t even for sale.

Oh, wait – they’re hunting a house, literally? Well, that is interesting!

Now – side note – I try not to pass judgment on other people’s viewing tastes (that’s a lie), but I’m not sure I get the appeal of watching people buy a house.  Maybe I need to give the show a try, but unless they’re looking at underwater houses, or tree houses, or something, it just sounds tiring.  But now it’s watching people who are not even really looking at houses.  Truly, it is a golden era for television, isn’t it?

Anyway, just in case, to protect you against future shocks, here a few things you might want to be prepared for on television:

Pulling weeds isn’t as hard as infomercials would have you believe.  It is, however, a million times more boring.

Charlie Sheen is not really a lovable scamp.  He is both a loathsome person, and clearly mentally ill.  Neither of these things are “entertainment.”

Liar!

The island from Lost isn’t a real place.  It exists in your mind.  Or the afterlife.  Or something.

Joanie doesn’t really love Chachi.  She was just using him for his muscle-tees.

The Kardashians are not really interesting.  I don’t even know who they are, beyond a name and a tabloid industry.

Supplies are not really limited.  Unless you consider that all things are, technically, finite. Someday the sun will grow large enough to consume the Earth, and supplies will no longer be available

The judges on America’s Got Talent don’t really think every single contestant is going to be a huge star.  But turning to each other and saying, “Wow.  That guy isn’t going to go far with that, but he’ll always have a moderately interesting talent.  Maybe he’ll be able to book a club in Wichita.”

Sexy, available ladies are not really waiting for you to call.  Maybe the island on Lost was supposed to be a parallel universe?  You know what, I probably need to see that final episode a few more times.

Medical cures are usually not instantaneous, even if prescribed by Dr. House.  In the real world, sometimes it takes a whole day to recover from debilitating illness (and from the 15 extremely invasive medications Dr. House prescribed on a whim).

Donald Trump, in a quiet moment before assembly.

Donald Trump is not really a human being.  He is a puppet in need of repair, being operated by 3 guys who don’t talk to each other.

But, let’s see, I think that’s it.  Yep.  Everything else on TV is true.

In any case, hopefully this helps, because at least now you know, right?  And as they used to say on GI Joe, “knowing is half the battle.”

But I’m not sure that’s true…

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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83 Comments on “Brace Yourself: TV is Fake”

  1. Ape No. 1 Says:

    They need to work on a better system for adhering Trump’s puppet hair to his puppet head. Where’s the genius of Jim Henson when you need it.

    Reply

  2. Life With The Top Down Says:

    A police office kindly reminded me of this fact after we were robbed and I politely asked “are you going to take fingerprints?” and he said “you watch too much T.V. lady” as he sat in his dry car. We stood out in the POURING rain for over an hour waiting…because I didn’t want to disturb the crime scene. I can no longer watch CSI with the same awe.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Can you imagine a “real detectives” TV show? They show up to the crime scene, get everyone’s statement, sigh, tell you they’ll see what they can do but don’t get your hopes up, then you fight with your insurance company.

      Reply

  3. 1pointperspective Says:

    Are you telling me that those people never went on a three hour tour? That you can’t make a bicycle out of bamboo and coconuts which can generate electricity? I’m sorry, but I think you’re wrong. You HAVE to be wrong, or my entire childhood is a lie!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Have you ever seen GalaxyQuest? Fantastic movie – if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it (and you’ll see the cover and think I’m an idiot, but trust me on this one). There’s a great moment when the protagonists are trying to explain that the TV broadcasts these aliens have been picking up aren’t “historical documents,” that they’re just pretend. Sigourney Weaver says, “I mean, you don’t think Gilligan’s Island is real” and the aliens all suddenly look forlorn. “Those poor people…”

      Reply

      • pegoleg Says:

        That’s one of my favorite movies. There, I said it. I scored the VHS version at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago and have watched it twice since then, giggling like a loon both times.

        Reply

        • The Byronic Man Says:

          I actually frequently use it in my film classes. It’s extraordinarily well-written, in terms of entertainment – it not only manages to appeal to Trekkies and Trek-Haters, you’re in a constant state of enjoying what’s happening and wondering what will happen next.

          Reply

      • Lenore Diane Says:

        Agreed. Galaxy Quest is an excellent movie. Worth watching again and again.

        Reply

      • mj monaghan Says:

        I LOVED that movie. One of my faves. Don’t know why it didn’t do more in terms of sales.

        Reply

        • The Byronic Man Says:

          I remember that the thinking was that Trekkies stayed away because they thought it was mocking them, and non-trekkies stayed away because they wouldn’t get the jokes. Usually that sort of analysis ignores the fact the the movie in question just plain sucked, but in this case that makes sense. I genuinely don’t know if I’ve met someone who’s seen it and didn’t enjoy it.

          Reply

  4. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I am in utter shock. Are you serious? Cash Cab isn’t real? That is it. I have completely given up on the fate of the human race now.

    Some day soon I am waiting to find out my own life is really a reality show like Truman. Granted, it would be the world’s most boring show but, sometimes I think it must be fake and all these family members are really actors.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I don’t know. I remember you writing a post about doing a ton of squats as part of an exercise regiment, then not being able to walk the next day. That sounds like pretty good TV to me.

      Reply

  5. mary i Says:

    I hope the same is not true for all the books I read. So does this mean You are not real?

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’m a theoretical concept. I think, therefore I’m definitely “real” in the strict sense of the term, but after that it gets fuzzy.

      Everything in books is true, though. Otherwise it couldn’t be published.

      Reply

  6. Elyse Says:

    I’m hoping that this means that all of those Disney and Nick programs — the ones that celebrate incredibly rotten teenagers who are oh so much smarter than the dumb-ole adults and let everybody know about it with snottiness — aren’t real either. A quick trip to the mall makes me fear you are mistaken, Bryonic.

    Reply

  7. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    how could you do this to me..how could you…this one thing i knew was nothing but true,everything,every bit of it,even the sopranos…Dr House is Doctor right?

    it will take years of therapy …

    Reply

  8. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    Sorry, B Man, I have to take exception to one of the items on your list: The Kardashians aren’t exciting even on their show.

    Reply

  9. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Well, I think now that you have given up the most closely guarded secret in the universe you will find a lot more of us TV folk out of work…again! What were you thinking, man?

    Reply

  10. pegoleg Says:

    I love HGTV. But last night I was watching their Design Star competition, which I also love, and the challenge was to design an office for Chris Jenner, who apparently is the mom of the Kardashians. And the show right after that was about designing obscenely expensive closets…and it was for the same person!

    I thought at least on HGTV I could get away from that hideous franchise! And now you say House Hunters is rigged? I am bitter and disillusioned.

    Reply

  11. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Now I’m starting to think that all of those Tae Bo commercials were just aimed at parting me from my money and Billy Blanks had no intention of ever giving me the 6 pack abs he promised.

    Reply

  12. Love & Lunchmeat Says:

    The key to pulling weeds is to find someone dumber than you and offer them lemonade/drugs/shiny things in return for pulling the weeds. At least, that’s what my sister always told me when she was bringing me my lemonade…

    Don’t get me started on the Kardashians. There was barely enough meat for one show, and they turned it into three… I tell myself that they probably donate lots of money to charity. Self-preservation, then I don’t have to bang my head against the wall.

    Reply

  13. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    Sadly, “Hoarders” is one show that is “real”…a friend of mine has produced afew of them & says its hard to keep staff for the show because its so emotionally draining…..
    On another note, I always thought ChaChi could’ve done better, someone without the racoon eyes…

    Reply

  14. List of X Says:

    That makes so much sense! That means the news aren’t real too!! Fox News isn’t really fair and balanced, Mitt Romney is just acting as if he is running for president, and Obama only pretends to be running the country!

    Reply

  15. Lenore Diane Says:

    Oh Byronic… I prefer living in a world of ignorance. Why did you have to introduce me to this world of clarity? Is nothing sacred?

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      How about this offer: you take the blue pill, and you’ll wake up in your own bed, and tell yourself whatever you like. You take the red pill, and keep going down the rabbit hole.

      Reply

  16. Go Jules Go Says:

    Ha! I don’t know if I’m happy or sad that I was still an eensy bit surprised about House Hunters. I think the appeal of that show is the whole ‘peek inside the medicine cabinet’ mentality. AND you get to know out how much the house (allegedly…) costs. …Not that I watch these shows or anything. No way.

    Charlie Sheen. Don’t get me started! Is he getting any help??

    And can someone PLEASE explain Two and A Half Men to me?! I can’t watch it because it actually steals light from my soul.

    Reply

  17. thesinglecell Says:

    Oh, sure. Next you’re going to tell me that there’s no such thing as teleportation and Magnum was never really a P.I. and also it’s hard to run around in short shorts jumping over cars in Hawaii without burning one’s thighs. PS I have friends who were on House Hunters, and they really were looking and buying. But the producers totally told my guy friend to be the “negative” one and his wife to be the “positive” one. Now I look for fake negativity whenever I watch that show. (And I do watch it sometimes. Because I want to buy a house and I keep thinking I’ll gain perspective. When really I just judge people. And sometimes houses.)

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Magnum PI is real, and I’ll refuse to believe otherwise.

      I think that would be a really tough part about being on shows like this. “We’d like you to be the bitchy, mean spouse.” “But…” “Do you want to be on TV or not?”

      Reply

  18. DiatribesAndOvations.com Says:

    And Operators are NOT standing by!

    Fun post. I’m not a fan of House Hunters either. And the international version just p*sses me off. Who wants to watch rich people pick out vacation homes. Bring back “Trading Spaces”!

    Reply

  19. travellingmo Says:

    Awww. I actually liked Cash Cab, but now I shy from it due to fakeness. Other than that, “reality” tv holds little to no appeal, but after growing up on Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit, Cash Cab was able to fill a void for random trivia I didn’t know was inside. 🙂

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’d think a completely true Cash Cab could be great!

      “You’re in the Cash Cab!”
      “Just get me to the goddamn airport.”

      “You’re in the Cash Cab!”
      “THERE ARE BUGS UNDER MY SKIN!’

      Etc.

      Reply

  20. Mr. Ray of Freaking Sunshine Says:

    The Island on Lost isn’t real!?! So I went on all those plane trips for nothing… Well you have definitely saved me a lot of money, but I’m pretty sure you’ve destroyed a lot of people’s lives. And now they don’t even have Dr. House or Dr. Frasier Crane to help them. You do good work.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Matthew Fox, from Lost, lives here where I do and a friend was dogsitting for him once while he was in Japan, and I thought how funny/freaky it would be to be seated next to him on a plane over the Pacific.

      Reply

      • Mr. Ray of Freaking Sunshine Says:

        Well, if the person hasn’t read your blog post yet, they would probably freak out about how the plane was going to crash and they were all going to die or have crazy adventures… or they would make awkward jokes about flying to him the whole time. Wow, he must hate flying now.

        Reply

      • Maggie O'C Says:

        and then he got a DUI.

        Reply

  21. Brown Road Chronicles Says:

    This is why I don’t really watch TV and spend most of my time on internet blogs. Because everything on the internet is true… right?!?

    Reply

  22. Audrey Says:

    Wow, I think you’ve just destroyed my faith in television, humanity, and the universe… I don’t know how I’ll possibly get by now.

    Reply

  23. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    I love this post, but the line on Charlie Sheen is my favorite. Someone asked me to retweet something really clever they’d written during his recent breakdown, a request I rejected with an explanation that mental illness isn’t something I like to poke fun at. I even like weeding more.

    Reply

  24. tomwisk Says:

    TV is the new opiate for the masses. By airing “reality” shows and wasting half hour blocks of our time selling products whose only need is in the mind of the charlatan hawking them we are headed to being the ultimately malleable audience, ready to be led by the nose to what ever fate the ubermeisters have determined for us.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Remember that great Calvin & Hobbes? Calvin reads the line “Religion is the opiate of the masses” and says, “What does that mean?” and behind him we see the TV thinking “It means Marx hadn’t seen anything yet.”

      Reply

  25. Curly Carly Says:

    No! House Hunters isn’t real?! Say it isn’t so! I’m actually not being sarcastic. It sounds boring and at times it kind of is, but once it starts it’s hard to turn off. It’s TV that you don’t have to think about.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I believe that. Shows like that are stunningly addictive. My wife and I watched “Hoarders” once and had to run when to commercial break came on to avoid watching, like, five episodes in a row.

      Reply

    • Maggie O'C Says:

      I’m with you Carly. I love House Hunters and I’m really bummed because I can’t watch it now.

      Reply

      • Curly Carly Says:

        I’ll probably choose to be in denial over this and continue watching with the same naivety as I always have. How else can I possibly learn how to best choose 1 house out of 3 available in a 30 minute time frame?

        Reply

  26. susielindau Says:

    Even though you are already a recommended blogger, this should get Freshly Pressed. Eye opening and hilarious! No way -House Hunters is fake??? Next you’ll be telling me that everyone is married on “Love in the Wild.” 🙂

    Reply

  27. Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface Says:

    Recently, I have been watching detective dramas and feeling bad for all the real detectives of the world. Clearly, the producers want the audience to feel “smart” for figuring out the crime scenarios before the TV detectives so they make the detectives look illogical and slow.

    Reply

  28. cappy @ writer's block Says:

    I’m sorry, mostly the only thing I can think right now is CHACHIIIIIIIIII! I had the most gigantic crush on him when I was little…it may still be going strong.

    Reply

  29. SzaboInSlowMo Says:

    Haha, I love Househunters, but I have no idea why. I like watching idiots on reality TV. And you’re right…Joanie didn’t love Chachi, and he didn’t love her either. It was all fixed. Funny post.

    Reply

  30. atothewr Says:

    Thanks for crushing me on the HGTV show. For some reason even though we have a house now my wife and I still enjoy watching House Hunters. We actually do try and guess which one they will buy or now which one they have bought. We also watch the international one as well. What does that say about us?

    Great post.

    Reply

  31. sextails Says:

    I have genuinely never laughed as much as reading one of your many exerts from your quite literally brilliant blog. I believe the things you pointed out to be absolutely accurate, and on the house hunters things. Put your house up for sale, and be surprised how many friends/work colleagues and other acquaintances that have not been admitted into your home suddenly start saying how wonderful it is.
    Brilliant for finding out how nosy we really are, or be like my retired over-middle-aged parents and househunt, with no intention of buying, simply, if not humourously, to slate their property, cleaning rituals, taste and home furnishings, branding them not your sort of people or the sort of neighbourhood, you could live in.
    Oh for the middle class.

    Reply

  32. gingerfightback Says:

    I’ve spent an hour or so staring into the mid-distance when I found out that Joanie didn’t love Chachi. My jacket potato was reduced to a crusty mush. But somehow that is not important anymore………..say it ain’t so. PLEASE!

    Reply

  33. Angie Z. Says:

    Joanie doesn’t really love Chachi? You’re killing me here. I wish I never looked behind that blasted curtain.

    Reply

  34. brownponytail Says:

    for a second there i thought you were going to tell us the mtv shows weren’t real!
    pheeeewww- glad they are, such informative programs! especially jersey shore. thanks to them, i now know how to be a sloppy drunk mess, and look like an oompa loompa mutation.

    Reply

  35. Abigail Venters Says:

    i always watch house md because the story line is great and you learn something about medicine too. ..

    Remember to read our very own website
    http://www.prettygoddess.com

    Reply

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