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Reality TV gives everyone time in the spotlight
June 27, 2012 - Jim Smith
Before I die everyone will have a chance at being famous ... via a a reality show.....
Andy Warhol was quoted as saying, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
With all the reality shows popping up on television, both network and cable, it would appear Warhol's prediction may come true sooner than anyone thought possible.
A great example is the latest try at capitalization on name recognition by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol in her ill-fated "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp," which got ratings for its first episode maybe only a little better than watching a blank screen.
Bristol Palin, 21, shot to fame during her mother's campaign after revealing she was a 17-year-old unwed mother-to-be, and last year took a third place in reality show "Dancing with the Star," with much speculation her high finish was due to Sarah Palin supporters calling in their votes for her.
Now, the Lifetime network is airing a program about Bristol and her 3-year-old son as they cope with life in Southern California after leaving their native Alaska.
Ratings indicated only 726,000 viewers tuned in to Bristol's show, while it's MTV time-slot opponent "Teen Mom" garnered 3.3 million viewers.
Entertainment Weekly critic Darren Franich said if Bristol, "She is first and foremost a personality — she would have been called 'famous for being famous,' back when that phrase was an insult and not an endorsement. … The season premiere of 'Life's a Tripp' saw Bristol Palin trying to go full Kardashian, to pitch herself as a character who is simultaneously approachable and decadent. She failed, quite visibly."
The Washington Post's Hank Stuever was even less flattering in his analysis of the new show: "Even if you have a lasting grudge against all things Palin, there's no payoff here. It's a new low for anyone who makes the mistake of watching."
But Bristol Palin is not the only "famous for being famous" that has grabbed 15 minutes of fame and lasted a season on more.
The real problem isn't the Bristol Palins of the world; it's the concept that entertainment on TV has sunk into that vast abyss of airing such drivel as reality TV.
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