Remember the early days of reality television, when every contestant expected to go to Hollywood and become an actor or a talk-show host? Remember how it was kind of sad? Remember how, when Colleen Haskell’s appearance in “The Animal” became the standard-bearer for success, it seemed like something had gone horribly awry? Well, it turns out that those were the days of substantive ambition.
Now, reality television’s chewed-up, spit-out types don’t even aspire to be actors. Now, they just want careers as former reality-show contestants. What with the upcoming “Battle Of The Network Reality Stars,” it’s clear that the market for those we’ve come to know so well, from their bleeped-out language to their tastefully blurred nudity, has never been stronger. Consider, too, E!’s “Kill Reality” (Mondays, 10 p.m. ET), a reality show about the making of a horror movie starring former reality-show contestants.
No, seriously. It chronicles the making of a horror movie in which Bachelor Bob gets killed. Jenna Lewis is in it. Stacie J. from "The Apprentice." And Reichen from "Amazing Race."
If you know who all those people are, then you’ll love the on-set antics and “cast house” frolicking, provided that you don’t mind sacrificing large chunks of your soul by watching a bunch of people who think they’re famous because they haven’t noticed that they’ve already been tossed on the scrap heap of pop-culture history. I mean, okay, Jenna Lewis was an original "Survivor." But… Reichen? Is on television again?
The show’s only actual appeal is as a cringe-inducing game of Six Degrees Of Oh My God. Remember Steven and Trishelle from “The Real World”? Well, Steven is having an affair with Jenna Lewis, who is also his acting coach, since she’s experienced — and not just in homemade pornography. She had a part on “Nash Bridges,” you know. Oh, the good old days.
Linda Holmes is a writer in Bloomington, Minn.