Once Upon A Time When Television Was Scripted

The merciless monster that is Reality Television continues to seek out and devour much of the broadcasting and cable landscape. Forgive all the vivid imagery, I’ve been reading J.K. Rowling. Okay, no I haven’t, but I thought that would sound good. Anyhoo, as Luke just reported,  Lisa Rinna, who had breakout roles on Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place, once upon a time when television was scripted, has booked a TV Land reality sitcom for herself and hubby Harry Hamlin, he of L.A. Law fame.

Don’t get me wrong, I am actually a fan of some reality shows. I love nothing better than screaming obscenities at that diva-vicious  Kimora Lee Simmons during a weekend marathon of her show and, like Ellen Wheeler, I even ocassionally get sucked into the vapid world of L.C and Speidi on The Hills (Could you imagine if they brought Kristen from Laguna Beach on and she teamed up with Speidi against the evil Lauren? Soap Opera Heaven!) but instead of getting my wings, I shed a tear every time a talented actor ends up slumming on reality sitcoms or dramas.
Rinna and Hamlin were amazing during their brief stint on Veronica Mars a few years back, not to mention the sleazy-good Lifetime movie Sex, Lies and Obsessions they did together. Why aren’t their agents trying to book similar projects for them, instead of some hot mess project for TV Land? I mean at least get them on Bravo or E! for booking out loud!

 If Rinna hosted a reality acting competition or Hamlin a game show it wouldn’t bother me as much, because hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to make that paper, but since the viewing audience has known for years that there was absolutely nothing "real" about such shows as The Osbornes or Newlyweds, the format has become more than stale. 

I think maybe its time to send over some Daytime TV executives so they can do to reality television what they’ve done to the soap opera, kill it deader than Pauly Shore‘s career. Then they can blame O.J. Simpson, the automobile industry, hell they can say the butler did it in the pantry with a knife for all I care, just as long as it flatlines.

I mean seriously, is Reality TV really (snort) the last simblance of hope for fading stars and starlet whom execs have deemed past their prime? Is this what poor Deidre Hall has to look forward to now that Ken Corday has tossed her out into the streets of Burbank, while Molly Burnett threw Marlena’s limegreen She-Devil contact lens at her, yelling "Scram Doc, I’m the future of this show!"? Will cameras soon be following Genie Francis to the bakery or en route to pick up Commander Riker’s dry cleaning? Soap God I hope not! 

The four or five CEOs who basically run Hollyweird have pretty much already decided they would rather fill our airwaves with cheap, dumbed down projects for people who breathe through their mouths, featuring such "stars " as those Miss Emily Post School Graduates on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and that is fine, I suppose there has to be a place for everything, but can’t real actors still be allowed to act?

Okay, so Rinna was never gonna cause Dame Judi Dench a sleepless night before the Oscars, but she definitely gave good soap vamp. Couldn’t she have held out for at least a cameo on the new Melrose Landing or an update of Party of Five at Falcon Crest

I’d rather see Hamlin in remake of Clash of the Titans, dress, sandals, Medusa’s bloody head and all, than watch him make eggs for his tykes, set to a goofy, sitcom soundtrack while playing Desi to Rinna’s Lucy, or make that Nick to Rinna’s Jessica.

The Devil is SO busy and I fear I’m losing my powers to fight him. This must be how Buffy felt during that one episode where she contemplates giving up slaying the undead. Come to think of it, television executives are a lot like vampires. They suck the life’s blood out of their respective genres, then go lurk in the darkness so they can’t be exposed by the light. Oh well, there’s alway The Young and the Restless. Salutations.

25 Responses

  1. Profile photo of daisyclover1938

    I can’t say I disagree with you on this Jamey. Reality shows are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine (especially the VH1 shows and RH of Atlanta) but it’s getting to be a bit much…

    BTW, Heck Yeah I can imagine Kristen coming back!! My friend and I were just saying last night how much we want Kristen to kick that little sourpuss Lauren’s butt, LOL

  2. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Daisy Clover I have a serious love/hate relationship with reality TV. The writer in me hates it, because with each new season there are less scripted shows, because reality stars are paid peanuts and the production costs are a fraction of scripted fare, but I am basically like a person who complains about politics, then doesn’t vote, because I watch America’s Next Top Model (which should be renamed America’s Next Fairly Successful Reality and/or Soap Star), Kimora Lee Simmons an anything featuring Brody Jenner! LOL

  3. Profile photo of Meg

    Brilliant Jamey! You voiced my sentiments about reality tv completely. I watch reality shows sometimes but what I can’t stand is now the multiple number of reality shows surrounding a “famous” family. Who cares what they do!? At least newlyweds and osbournes were new concepts at the time. Lisa Rinna pulled off Soap Talk (whatever happened to that show?) and melrose. She is capable of doing better things. I mean lets face it, she and harry hamlin aren’t exactly big news any more. Who’s going to watch this especially when it’s on TVLand?

  4. Profile photo of ssjohn

    Lisa Rinna, who had breakout roles on Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place, once upon a time when television was scripted, has booked a TV Land reality sitcom for herself and hubby Harry Hamlin, he of L.A. Law fame.

    It’s kinda sad i only know them from Veronica mars fame hu? :P

    Also Jamey i think by now America’s next top model should be renamed “America’s 18th kinda sortof best top model”

    I have to say i haven’t really watched much reality t.v. this year at all, no real world vs road rules seasons (I have to be 4-6 seasons behind by now -.-), no real world or road rules alone -.-, no survivor, no amazing race, the last thing i watched was Big Brother and that was mainly because of the amazing fun we had here at tfo :) ((YAY CHATS)), but with that said i did really enjoy the first few seasons i saw of Real world, loved the one season of road rules, and i loved RW vs. RR but times changed, i got sucked into Eastenders and other scripted shows and guess what a well scripted fight on one of those shows vs. a bunch of bleeps and hair pulling, the scripted wins.

  5. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    SSJohn you have me so intrigued about the Brit soaps! I even went on East Enders web sites, maybe once the mercy killing of Guiding Light is complete I will have time to check it out.

  6. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    watch reality shows sometimes but what I can’t stand is now the multiple number of reality shows surrounding a “famous” family. Who cares what they do!?
    ITA I mean really, COOLIO??! Who wanted to see a reality show starring him? The ones that really piss me off are the modern day minstrel shows like Flava of Love and I Love New York. They both ought to be flat out ashamed of themselves for taking part in those travesties. I have more respect for an STD-plagued hooker on Sunset than New York.

  7. Profile photo of Regan Cellura
    Regan Cellura

    LOL J… I don’t think they’re besties, just not mortal enemies anymore. I think Kristen sat front row at LC’s first fashion show. I would love for her to pop in at The Hills. Anything that takes away from those publicity whores that are Spencer and Heidi. Did you guys see her mom’s interview with US Weekly? Loved it!

    I’ll admit it, my name is Regan and I’m a reality TV junkie. But in all fairness, when all my shows are getting the ax what’s a girl to do but watch everyone else’s train wreck of a life. But I love the the more real ones as well like John and Kate plus eight. As my 5 year old niece told me ” I love that show, they have all those kids to play with!”

  8. Profile photo of daisyclover1938

    Jamey, that’s exactly how I feel. I’m always complaining about the state of TV, and yet I watch some of these shows religiously (I admit it, I’ve watched the Kardashian show!! And yeah my friend and I are always on the lookout for Brody, lol)

    ssjohn: LOVE me some Real World vs. RR and/or Fresh Meat, lol. But yeah, I’ve gotten behind on those shows :)

  9. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    The Real Housewives of Atlanta is the gift that just keeps giving. Did you see NeNe has been evicted? Though she claims she wasn’t “evicted.”
    From the city that gave us Gone With the Wind and Usher, we now have…this. Sigh.

  10. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Ne-Ne. Now just what kind of sense does it make for anyone past the age of 19 to still be running around calling herself Ne-Ne? Just BEATS all I’ve ever seen!  This is why we can’t have Peace in the Middle East! HUMPH!

  11. Profile photo of Mrs Adam Carrington
    Mrs Adam Carrington


    You are a man after my own heart, TV has become a veritable wasteland of sucky reality tv shows. Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin are so much better than this future train wreck they’ve signed up for.

    I personally can’t stand reality tv shows and thus don’t watch any but I foresee the day that I give up tv all together because the soaps will have been cancelled and replaced with this dreck. When that day comes I will go back to my British and European soaps full-time.

  12. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Watch it Gidddens, that’s my aunt’s name! LOL!
    Doh! (Jamey blushes and goes under his desk to hide). What I meant to say was…Ne-Ne is an FABULOUS name, ravishing even! Why I think I shall name my first born Ne-Ne! Is that better? :p

  13. Profile photo of ssjohn

    SSJohn you have me so intrigued about the Brit soaps! I even went on East Enders web sites, maybe once the mercy killing of Guiding Light is complete I will have time to check it out.

    And Now i have a reason to go find the light switch and turn it off, lol.

    Though at the same time i don’t really want GL to end, then it means Coronation street is the longest running soap and well I want Reva Shayne and her baby more then i want to see some of the stuff on Corrie.

    Also i am kinda enjoy Guiding light, I like NuShayne and i want to see where things go with him, and then Philip’s return and Edmund, i dunno there is just some things to look forward to on Guiding light and i didn’t think i would be able to say that. ((Now lets just get rid of Grady please))

    Btw Daisy– YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY lol is it wrong that i feel like a leader of a secret cult, and i am brainwashing the US Soap viewers into it one at a time?

  14. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    I resolved myself to Guiding Light’s demise years ago. It’s like watching a beloved old friend hooked up to life support. I sincerely wish they would pull the plug and allow my old loved one to go out with a least a smidge of dignity as opposed to drolling with a traech tube in its mouth, riddled with bed sores brought on by years of improper care.

  15. Profile photo of daisyclover1938

    Btw Daisy–YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY lol is it wrong that i feel like a leader of a secret cult, and i am brainwashing the US Soap viewers into it one at a time?

    No ssjohn, it’s not wrong because you *are* lol!! DC Drinking Game: everytime ssjohn mentions Eastenders take a shot :D Seriously though, I watch a bunch of soaps and Eastenders is by far the best one!

  16. Profile photo of ssjohn

    Duddddddddde love the DC drinking game!

    now we have to come up with the whole game + rules, + a friendly version for the kiddies/ people who don’t drink *cough* me *cough*.

    Let’s see,

    Every time he mentions the following characters and(or) their actors;
    Gloria & Greenlee

    Everytime Jamey says:
    Jesus take the wheel
    Breaks out into song (this is a special double shot if he does GL’s “Only LOVE can save the world”)

    Everytime she wants to smack a rapemancer over the head (Take three, two for you and one for her)

    ((Special Tina/Jamey: Everytime they bring up Santa Barbra or other canceled soap))

    To lazy to keep writing, but this is going to be lonnnnnnng list and fun game :) we also need to do a Bingo game, so everyone will print out a bingo card and the first person to fill in their bingo card with timecode (when it’s said) WINS!

    And in these troubled times (drink) we need to have a little bit of fun.

  17. Profile photo of daisyclover1938

    Hmmm…okay, take a shot (or big gulp of milk – for the kiddies):
    *Everytime Jamey mentions Another World
    *For every Paul/Meg complaint :)
    *Everytime Luke seemlessly segways from one topic to the next.
    *For every less than successful segway Luke attempts ;)
    *Anytime someone proclaims soaps to be a dying genre
    *Whenever Naughty Nicki makes a request for more shirtless men on soaps
    *Whenever someone makes fun of GL’s camerawork
    *Everytime Jamey asks “Where’s the glamour?”

  18. Profile photo of Laurie

    I admit that DANCING WITH THE STARS is the only reality show that I watch. And I only started watching that because of guess who? Yep, Lisa Rinna, who I watched ever since her Billie Reed days on DAYS. I’m actually glad that Lisa and Harry are scratching out an existence for themselves in the tacky world of reality TV. If nothing else, Lisa is a trouper. Just when you think she’s been knocked down, she shows up somewhere else.

    That being said, I blame this whole reality TV phase a lot for the crap that’s on now. I guess reality stars work cheaper and the shows are easier to produce; and there’s not too much creativity or writing skill involved. So TV is spiraling down to an even lower common denominator…and killing off soaps while its doing it. Meanwhile, I’ll just kick back and buy my trash TV 80s DVD sets of shows like DYNASTY and REMINGTON STEELE…and keep my self respect.

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