The reality of it is

Reality TV - I watch less than my fair share. Some of it is fairly entertaining, some of it is good, but some is, quite frankly, built on premises so ridiculous that I find myself staring at the television, jaw slack and eyes watering.

“Two years is nothing! You’ll find someone!” I’ve just been shouting at the television (yes, television does make you shout at it). Sinkkulaiva (Love Boat) has just ended and we have continued to Ensitreffit Alttarilla (First date at the altar), both of which are about desperate singles looking for love. Ensitreffit involves strangers being paired up on five-week trials to see if they are suited, there’s even a priest involved and a very serious host.

Among many questions I have is, how certain do you have to be that you’re not going to find love in order to join such a show? (Another is does this trial period involve sex?)

Are we to understand that these, mostly, young people are so sure that they cannot find partners through conventional means that they’ll resort to a very public process complete with the potential for humiliation?

Once the show is aired and watched and the contracts signed to permit your face to be repeatedly shown, day after day, year after year, will it still seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity to find a partner or will it become something you’re constantly hoping that your new workmates or girlfriend don’t find out about?

Our individual histories now form a distinct retrievable part of our collective memory. For example, six or seven years ago, I posted some fairly embarrassing pictures of myself on Facebook – nothing extremely so – and forgot about them. Last year Facebook thoughtfully dredged them up for me. Likewise, only this afternoon I noticed Star Trek Generations had been dug up for another seemingly endless rerun on primetime television. Moreover, we have Matlock and McGyver as constant daily companions.

While having had a bit part on MacGyver as mullet guy #2 may seem a little awkward twenty years later, it was a role probably undertaken in the best of faith – that it might lead to a legitimate career in acting – will the motives for being on such reality shows stand up as one gets older and wiser?

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