Divorced from Reality Television

Matchmaker Voting Reality TelevisionLike it or loathe it, reality television is here to stay. Approximately 20% of current television programming is “Reality TV”. Name a subject, and there is likely a show about it — from singing, modeling, cooking, and dancing competitions to shows about antique hunters, bounty hunters, crocodile hunters and husband hunters. The trucking industry is also represented with a handful of shows: Big Rig Bounty Hunters, Ice Road Truckers, American Truckers, Truck Stop USA and Shipping Wars.

If reality television has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need good looks, talent, morals or social skills to become famous. In fact, it has taken our obsession with fame to a whole new level. Consider, for example, Kim Kardashian, who is famous for simply being famous.

The other thing reality television has taught us is that there’s nothing real about it. Editors and producers write jokes, script banter and shape participant’s conversations. Real-life friends are often exchanged for better-looking fake friends; situations are created; story lines are preplanned. Plus, how “real” is any situation where you’re being followed around by television cameras?

Via contrived scenarios and heavy editing, these shows create low comedy, drama, scandal, and appalling displays of stupidity. And that’s why some folks are upset. In this article, on TheTrucker.com, people weigh in on how our industry is being represented through these shows. John Fahrion said: “They attempt to paint a picture of the stereotypical trucker. The shows make the truckers look like buffoons. How can we get any respect from the general public when they think this is how we really act?”

Matchmaker Reality Television Show Ecard 2Although I, personally, don’t watch any of these shows, I do agree with Charlotte Ground that despite some negative stereotypes, trucking reality TV shows are also shining a much-needed light on the industry. And, when you compare these shows to others like Toddlers and Tiaras, Honey Boo Boo, 16 and Pregnant and Jersey Shore, I think the truckers are faring pretty well. Consider, for example, these Top 5 Quotes that represent The Best (or the Worst) of Reality TV:

  • “I don’t have a book coming out, that’s a rumor. I don’t read or write.” – Courtney Stodden from Couple’s Therapy and Celebrity Big Brother (UK).
  • “What is Hawaii? A state? A continent? Heh. Continent.” -Jessica Serfaty from America’s Next Top Model
  • “What’s Walmart? Do they, like, make walls there?” -Paris Hilton from The Simple Life
  • “Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says ‘Chicken of the Sea’.”– Jessica Simpson from Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.
  • “Tofu. I thought it was like touch√©. I didn’t know it was food.”– Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi from The Jersey Shore

So what do you think? Do you watch the reality shows on trucking? Do you like them or loathe them? Please weigh in as I conduct this unofficial poll–email me or post your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Meanwhile, keep it real this weekend,