The "Zero Property" of Reality TV - The Modern Nature of Fame

   i will admit it. I used to watch (if not love…) MTV’s Jersey Shore. it was that one guilty pleasure TV show I loved watched because (as i tried to justify with all my friends who scolded me for it) it was “so bad that its good”…which I think falls under the category of “schadenfreude. “After a hard day of classes or work or feeling sick, nothing can bring the happiness back into a person like watching the dregs of American society stab each other in the back, pee on the floor in a bar because its too hard to walk to the bathroom in their stripper heels or get arrested for public drunkenness. Aside from the fact that Sammi and Ronnie’s relationship is about as annoying as Carol Channing’s voice, Jersey Shore helps almost anyone feel good about themselves on the pure nature of the feeling of supremacy you get from knowing how much smarter you are than the people on TV (that’s directed at you, snooki…and the lobster comment from season 1).

     Being an american, I like many of my fellow countrymen believe that Europe is classier than the United States is. even the lowest level whore in london is higher up the ladder than most of the trash we see on reality TV, even if its just because she’s in london. or so i believed, until I saw the season premiere of MTV UK’s “Geordie Shore”, England’s answer to the “Jersey Shore” craze, which has lead me to believe the “zero property of reality tv”.

     As a quick flashback, anyone with a basic knowledge of math knows about the “zero property of multiplication”, which states: anything multiplied by zero will result in a zero value. for example.

133,434,132,543,547,876,234x0 = 0

     No matter the number, you will always get zero. Now think about it with reality TV. reality TV will take the place of the zero, possibly because there is zero script or zero thoughts in the mind of any of the cast.

given : reality TV = trash.

northeastern england x reality TV  = geordie shore

(coastline of new jersey + fake tans + alcohol + sex + swearing + snooki ) x reality TV = jersey shore

Using the Zero Property of Reality TV, we can simplify the left hand side of each equation.

reality TV = geordie shore

reality TV = jersey shore

Using substitution with our initially stated formula that reality TV = trash we get:

trash = geordie shore

trash = jersey shore

Finally, since we know that trash equals trash, we can see that:

geordie shore = jersey shore = trash

     That’s what’s so special (and dangerous) about reality TV…it doesn’t matter what country its filmed in or who makes up the cast or what someone’s intentions are going in. Maybe its the chemicals in the artificial light or the buzz of the “ron-ron juice”, but once the cameras start rolling and someone gets a fleeting taste of fame’s seductive and intoxicating rush, people will do anything and say anything to get more of it. And that’s why I’m giving up reality TV (except iron chef). With Jersey Shore, I’m not laughing at someone’s accident like if someone tripped and the thing they were carrying broke (come on, we’ve all done it once). I’m laughing at people who will exploit themselves in anyway possible to be famous and to have their 15 minutes. Is that really something I should be celebrating or encouraging? Who have these people even become? I don’t want a future where the only way you will be remembered is by blowing a grenade horn on national television.

     Thank you MTV, for proving that you can find the heart of darkness in just about anyone.