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All posts for the month February, 2013

Reality TV…ISN’T REAL!

Published February 26, 2013 by sassydonna

It was about 8:30am sometime in March of 2009, and my husband and I were screaming at each other as we ran on foot, chasing a tow truck down the road. I threw my hands up in the air as the truck disappeared from sight… then took off my shoes and hurled them at my husband with a look of anger and desperation. As I ran across the street towards him, there was no way that I could have anticipated how he was going to respond. You see, I had only met him an hour ago.

15 seconds later, someone yelled: “Cut!”

 Our stances relaxed, and we joined our best friends inside a van which had been following us through the whole escapade. The four of us began to laugh, and we complimented each other on the slurs, digs, and insults that we had hurled at the men that had repossessed their car. As the van circled back around to take us to our starting point in the marina, my friend smiled at me and asked politely:

“What was your name again?”

Twenty minutes later, we were all in the parking lot, our bags of belongings packed up, and we said our good-byes as we all drove away in separate vehicles. To my knowledge, none of us ever saw each other again.

As I made the trek back to my home in StudioCity, I recalled the day that I had auditioned for the show that we had just filmed. It was done with 100% improvisation, and I had no time to prepare at all. They instructed me that “my car was being repossessed”, for me to act psychotic, and said: “Go!”

After I finished my audition, the casting directors didn’t say one word to me…other than to thank me for coming down. I suppose that I must have been “psychotic” enough for them, because a week or two later, they cast me in an episode of their “Reality Show”, which airs on a network that broadcasts all “true television programs.”

Now…what was “True” or “Real” about the show on which I appeared? Well, if you strained your eyes and looked closely, there was some fine print broadcast at the end of the episode…which stated that all of the programs in their series were “re-enactments of true events.” So, I suppose that, in this instance, they were technically in the clear…though I can’t imagine that many of their viewers have ever seen that disclaimer.

That’s a lot more honest than many reality shows.

 Reality television seems to take every shape and form nowadays…from famous family’s lives being chronicled, to showcases about patients going through rehab…to unfaithful significant others being busted right there in front of the camera.

Or are they?

 One such show which adamantly claims that their episodes are all real, true stories…filmed live…is a well-known program called Cheaters. As a matter of fact, the encounters with those being caught are sometimes so violent, the host was once actually stabbed…leaving him lying helpless in a Texas hospital.

Except that he wasn’t.

That’s right…an investigation conducted by theTV show Inside Edition revealed that “ The ambulance was rented, the blood was fake, and everything was scripted”…additionally, according to the police in Rowlett, Texas, it never happened. “There were no arrests at all during that time period for that type of crime,” said John Ellison of the Rowlett Police Department.*

Hmm…it looks like Cheaters does a lot of cheating!

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Because of my “insider’s” perspective, I admit that I’ve become somewhat jaded…because I honestly become surprised when I meet someone who still thinks that reality television is actually real. I have to remember that most people have no idea about the contrived ways of television, and the majority of the world probably does think that it’s all real, at least to a certain extent. The next time that you’re watching a reality show, look closely. You might start to recognize when things seem out of place, or it may appear more obvious when a situation has been manipulated for the cameras. 

Even though I don’t actually watch their shows, I’m no stranger to who the Kardashians are…especially Kim, the reigning queen of reality TV. According to recent media reports, Kim’s soon-to-be ex-husband, Kris Humphries, is threatening to “Blow the lid off reality television.”

 Well, I don’t doubt that he might…but hey, it’s entertainment, people! If you enjoy what you’re watching, and the people behind the camera can provide that entertainment for you…does it matter if it’s real or not? I suppose that the viewers can be the only ones to judge. So, do you feel betrayed now? Disappointed? Or are you merely shrugging your shoulders?

Waiting in line at the grocery store last week, I couldn’t help but notice the cover of the latest Us magazine. It featured a smiling photo of a very handsome man, the star of one of the most popular reality shows of all. And the caption?

“The Virgin Bachelor”.

Umm…I’m not so sure about that!

*For a link to the Inside Edition investigation into the show Cheaters, click here:

http://www.insideedition.com/investigative/853-inside-edition-investigates-cheaters

Rumors…and the ones who will believe them

Published February 18, 2013 by sassydonna

My first reaction when I heard “The Rumor” was complete and utter shock…the kind that knocks the breath out of you for a couple of seconds before you can regain enough composure to form a sentence. When I did just that, the first words to come out of my mouth were:

“Who would be dumb enough to believe that?”

The sad thing is… there were, apparently, dozens of people who were more than happy to believe a story that was beyond a fabrication…it was an outlandish, ridiculous lie. I know this with 100% certainty because “The Rumor” was about me.

I took a deep sigh as my mind rewound back to my childhood and teen years…a time when I lived in a tiny town where people talked about each other as a pastime, a hobby, and a team sport. As I remembered those days long gone by, my next words were:

“It’s the same as it ever was.”

I recalled a guy who I went to high school with in that tiny town. He probably would never remember who I am, but I definitely remember him, most notably because of the day that I learned he had tested positive for HIV. That’s an incredibly sad thing to learn about anyone…but in this case, it was shocking because it turned to not be true. That’s right…it was a rumor…apparently started by someone who felt rejected by him, and this fabricated story was her vindictive way of “getting back” at him. I wonder if her cruel form of retribution actually made her feel better.

To spread a story like that about anyone is a horrible thing to do. It’s the kind of thing that can ruin a person’s life if enough people believe it, and unfortunately, plenty of people did. What was disturbing was the rate at which the rumor spread…and how blindly people accepted it as truth…but most of all, how some individuals took delight in repeating it to anyone who hadn’t heard “the news.”

Now, I have expressed my disdain for these kinds of rumors to my friends on several occasions, and I have heard all of the standard responses: “People have boring lives”, “They’re just jealous”, etc, etc…but the truth of the matter is, it goes further than that. It boils down to complete and utter stupidity, ignorance, and…well, stupidity.

I left that tiny town as soon as I could, and I never looked back…migrating to the metropolis of Los Angeles, which is where I truly grew up. In LA, people never believe everything that they hear, because they are savvy enough to realize that a lot of people are full of crap. Moreover, unless the subject of said rumor is a celebrity, no one cares one iota about what anyone else does.

It may be because I lived in Los Angeles for so long that I was shocked when I found out that a ridiculous, unbelievable rumor had circulated about me, and that certain current and former residents of the “tiny town” were the ones to have participated.

Are you effing kidding me?

Friends have jokingly told me that I should be flattered…that I should feel like a celebrity being targeted by a cheesy tabloid magazine. Well, I’m certainly not a celebrity…and they (and the magazines) are usually making big bucks because of such gossip being generated at their expense.

When one reaches a certain age, they have a responsibility to themselves to question things that they have no firsthand knowledge of…and when they blindly accept and repeat just about anything that titillates them, they need to understand that they have chosen to be an ignoramus. And no, I am not calling anyone a “name” when I say this…it’s a straight-up fact. And if you’re not doing it due to ignorance, then you are a low, low person.

So, to those people who have started and participated in “untruths” about me…expect to receive a bill in the mail. After all, you’ll, pay for your next copy of The Enquirer. And as for everyone else?

“Believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see.”

-Benjamin Franklin

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