Quotes: Reality TV

"Shows based on reality
Oh, the humanity!
Oh, Ozzy's family
Sho' loves profanity
Whoa, the insanity
Oh, dogs that crap and pee
Home of depravity?
No, they live happily"
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Couch Potato"

"500 channels and there ain't much on tonight
But reality shows about some folks' so-called lives
A pretty girl cries 'cause she don't get a rose
But she'll find love next year on her own show
And they call that real"
James Wesley, "Real"

Doctor: (scoffs) The human race. Brainless sheep, being fed on a diet of— Mind you, have they still got that programme where three people have to live with a bear?
Lynda: Oh, Bear With Me! I love that one!
Doctor: And me. The celebrity edition where the bear—

Look at the Kardashians, they're worth millions. I don't think they were that badly off to begin with but now look at them. You see that and you think, 'What, you mean all I have to do is behave like a fucking idiot on television and then you'll pay me millions?' I'm not judging it... well, I am obviously.

The Victorian freak show never went away. Now it's called Big Brother or X Factor, where in the preliminary rounds we wheel out the bewildered to be sniggered at by multi-millionaires.

Armed & Famous took celebrities, mostly the bad kind, and gave them jobs as police officers. This wasn't that crazy an idea when it was 600 pounds of aikido action star, but when it's La Toya Jackson, that's irresponsibly insane.

I’m an unashamed lover of Big Brother... It’s taking a while for things to get interesting this season, mainly because everyone’s still in that first heady rush of tiptoey politeness and they’ve yet to splinter into two eternally warring factions, like the Hatfields and McCoys if they’d been fighting over who gets to cover their bare tits with their hands for the most money in Nuts magazine instead of cowboy gold.

I’ve watched every episode of every season and spent time watching the live feeds, which means I’ve wasted hundreds of hours listening to strangers talk about food and their bowel movements. What have you done with YOUR life?
Michael K. on Big Brother

So Michael Sam has a reality show now, and I'm just gonna go ahead and align myself with the HOT TAKES crowd and say that Sam just pissed away a whole lot of the goodwill he'd built up for himself these past few months. They can class up the announcement all they like. They can call it a "documentary" series even though it's a dirty little secret that even acclaimed documentary filmmakers will coach subjects and have them do multiple takes. They can do all that and it still won't scrub away the fact that reality shows are fucking beat and no one worth a shit bothers to do them...Now that Sam has a reality show, can anyone believe with 100 percent confidence that the kiss he shared with his boyfriend on camera last Saturday was a real and true moment? They probably had a dress rehearsal. Sam was probably standing on a taped X to make sure he hit his mark.

Now, this episode of Bar Rescue is compelling television. It’s about a sinking pirate bar called Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring, Maryland, where the staff wants to play pirate while the workers at the several corporate high rises next door ignore the noise. Furthermore, the owner is $900,000 in debt and lives in her parents’ basement with her husband, Piratz’s incompetent chef, and her college-age daughter. In walks nightlife expert Jon Taffer who believes the staff is delusional and drags them kicking and screaming to a new theme, the Corporate Bar and Grill. After the change, the place looks to have a bright future. But the owner, still wanting to play pirate, turns it back to Piratz a few weeks later and the ship continues to sink.

There’s only one problem: The show is made up... Tracy told me, a guy she never met, that she never uses credit cards with Piratz and she pays off the $10,000 rent every month in full and on time… oh, and there is no basement. Jon and his wife show up to the bar which looks dead…except it’s dead because the Bar Rescue producers told the tavern to tell everyone that the tavern was closed.
Noah Murphy, "How Bar Rescue Faked Reality"

OH! I'm on an island! OH! I'm all alone on exile island! All I have is fifteen cameras and a medical team if anything really goes wrong. Oh boo hoo hoo, I have to eat worms!

Come chum some of this *$%$, buddy. I have bullet holes in my house and bloodied strangers bursting through my door. I can't turn the freakin' heat on. That's survival, not piddling middle class yuppies arguing over fricking immunity tokens... My ears bled with the inanity.
Neal Bailey on Survivor

The key thing I want to emphasize here is that there's a point in the history of MythBusters where the hosts stop seeming like real people being filmed in the act of doing their job and start to feel like they're playing a role...Far from breaking artifice, it's going out of its way to take something that was already designed to give viewers a look under the hood and constructing an artifice out of that... this has the added consequence of blurring the lines between the plays and turning real people into cartoon characters. It's one thing to do this to a fictional character, who is purely imaginary and by default more flat than a real person; It's quite another to reduce an actual living, breathing human to a series of verbal tics and personality quirks.
Soda Pop Art, "I Don't Buy It — Commercials as Narrative and Social Entropy"