If you don’t want the illusion of reality television shattered, stop reading now. Because I’m going to let you in on the truth behind reality television and if you’d like to continue believing it’s real … you’d best not read these first paragraphs.
I’ve worked as a television host and writer for close to 20 years. I’ve been a commentator, entertainment reporter, competition show host, lifestyle show host and reality show host.
What I’m about to tell you has been a closely guarded secret in the television industry since the beginning of reality tv.
The most honest, most believable, most REAL reality shows … are documentaries.
Everything else is manufactured reality. There’s a little bit of reality in shows like The Little Couple, The Real Housewives of Fishlips and all of those decorating shows, but for the most part the shows are highly produced and scripted.
That cute little Jenn Arnold from The Little Couple? She’s actually 6’2″. And a drug lord.
It’s the miracle of television and script writers and producers and highly contrived realism.
The people you’re watching on most reality shows don’t have to memorize lines, but what they do have to do is follow a general storyline outlined by the producers. In other words, Jim and Carol may actually be getting a new kitchen installed but the hijinx that ensue are scripted.
The producers tell the couple that they’re to argue over what kind of counters they want. The producers then hope hilarity or drama will ensue. It’s like improv, only even more cringe inducing.
Reality type shows have the “disasters” that will happen worked out well in advance of even taping the show. Then, when actual disasters occur, they go unnoticed and untaped by the production team. They don’t need real disasters on their reality show, you see, they have BETTER disasters scripted out and ready to go.
The problem is, real life disasters are always better than made up ones.
Like the corner cabinet caper.
I got my cabinets delivered to my house almost 2 months ago. They have been sitting patiently in my dining room waiting to be installed. The delivery guys marched them in the front door, through the foyer and into the dining room where they sat until last week.
Grant and I got to work taking out the last of my kitchen and then bringing in the new cabinets.
The Martha Stewart cabinets from Home Depot are pre-assembled. So there’s no need to put them together like an Ikea cabinet for example. Great, right?
A preassembled corner cabinet you see is … big. Large. Gargantuan. Whereas my doorways are not big, large, gargantuan. They’re what you’d call tiny. Hobbit sized really.
So when we heaved up the corner cabinet to bring it from the dining room into the kitchen … it wouldn’t fit. We did everything normal people would do at that point. We flipped it around, turned it up side down, tried it sideways, swore a little bit, put it down, picked it up again and tried everything we already tried once more. Then we swore a lot.
As you can see below, we eventually got the cabinet in.
So how did we do it?
We had to carry the cabinet out of the dining room, back through the front door, down the street and through my side gate. Only it wouldn’t fit through my side gate. It almost fit. But it didn’t fit. Like the jeans you bought last summer.
Once we realized what were were about to have to do, I ran inside for what we needed. A step ladder, a tripod, camera and my lunatic cabinet throwing grin.
We had no other option than to heave it over my fence and in the back door which is slightly wider than my dining room door opening. It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done.
Things will not go smoothly with your renovation. They just won’t. Things will not go smoothly in life.
The strangest things will pop up and you’ll think, how am I EVER going to deal with this? But you’ll find a way because you have to.
That’s the reality of it.
(If you entered to win the Pink Suede Tool Belt this time last week, the winner will be announced in Friday’s post)