I’m a reality tv junkie.
First there was Survivor, then Queer Eye for the Straight Guy followed by America’s Next Top Model and Top Chef. Let it be known, however, that I’ve never watched a single episode of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette or anything involving former Playboy bunnies or women who want to sleep with Brett Michaels. I have my standards.
Several years ago Bravo tv served up the Real Housewives of Orange County (tacky). Their success led to an Atlanta version (tacky and nouveau), a New Jersey version (tacky, nouveau and loud) and my favorite, New York. The shows are shot months before they air and are edited and hyped to elicit maximum drama.
I’m wondering if they went too far Thursday night.
Five of the seven New York women were vacationing at an elegant villa in the Caribbean. These women have a history of cat fighting, and, like any good soap opera, you need a score card to remember who’s mad at who.
But in the latest episode a morning spat turned into a complete emotional psychotic meltdown by dinnertime–it would’ve been obvious to anyone watching that the woman in question, Kelly Bensimon, was falling apart. I don’t know if she was drunk or coked up or just plain crazy, but it was painful, and riveting to watch.
She accused one woman of channeling the devil and being a vampire.
She said another had repeatedly tried to kill her and that her tongue was made of knives.
She said she never ate processed food and then lit into a bag of gummy bears.
She started called one woman Al Sharpton for no apparent reason.
She was really over the edge and it made me wonder just how iron-clad the release forms must be that these women sign.
This woman is the mother of two young girls who will see this one day and I wonder if there were any legal maneuvers to block its airing. I also wonder just how far reality tv will go with its content. And how far some people will go to find fame.
The cult of celebrity is powerful and everyone needs a little validation sometimes. We all want to be told we’re smart or admired or pretty.
But if 15 minutes of fame means a lifetime of embarrassment, I’ll pass.