People like Kim Kardashian, Honey Boo Boo, Snooki, the cast of Duck Dynasty and the Real Housewives of wherever have become household names due to reality TV, but what America does not realize is how much these individuals are diminishing the value of the craft of acting. Talented and hardworking actors all over the world are getting overlooked by the tacky antics displayed on reality television.
Americans will unnecessarily obsess over ridiculous situations such as the Kardashian sisters looking fat in a dress that is too tight for them or Jersey Shore’s Snooki getting another spray tan that makes her look like the color of a traffic cone. They will mark in their calendars the latest episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo so they can witness young Alana Thompson’s mother buying her daughter a pig that defecates all over their home, but they won’t pay a dime to go to the movie theaters to witness an Oscar-worthy performance from top-notch actors like Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman in masterpieces such as Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables.
Individuals displayed in reality TV, such as the Kardashian family, do have a great talent for marketing and network skills, as displayed in their evident fame and notoriety. The problematic issues arise when people like the Kardashians present subject matter that serves no purpose in society other than displays of vanity, ignorance and lack of work ethic.
Audiences take to watching reality television as opposed to a Hollywood feature film because they believe a more grounded sense of reality is present in television shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The fact of the matter is that the majority of all reality television either scripted improvisation or fully-scripted and planned out just as much as a season of Game of Thrones. Hollywood producers will seek out seemingly interesting individuals and write an entire show based on their personalities, which often result in crowd-pleasing, bizarre antics. The selected individuals like Snooki and DJ Pauly D go along with the proposed plan in exchange for the copious amounts of money they are being paid to do so. In actuality, reality TV is acting too. The only difference is that the stakes are higher for reality TV stars because they cannot afford to be caught acting.
The likes of Kim Kardashian and other reality TV stars greatly diminish the value of true acting. The human psyche gives them no option to be caught being untruthful because they have half of the nation fooled into believing the insane stunts they are pulling on television are spontaneous, real-life events. True actors who dutifully perform in films, television series and live theaters around the world have a disadvantage in this instance because audiences already know they are living in imaginary circumstances and these actors must work that much harder to captivate viewers into the reality of their film, TV show or play.
Both parties on the acting side of the situation do display a talent for the craft on some level. The sickening epiphany is that the subject matter of reality TV is poisoning the minds of the nation with the likes of “Hot and Not Lists” and the creation of stereotypes for certain social groups. The material provided in legitimate performance pieces can provide educational information, solace in relation to a character and the ability to create an emotional argument in one’s own life.
The value of true acting is diminishing thanks to Kim Kardashian, Honey Boo Boo and the rest of reality TV’s craving for temporary limelight and display of mediocrity. One can only hope that the nation will wise up and rise out of this phase of reality television to recognize and benefit from all that the true craft of acting can offer the world.
Opinion by Cody Collier