Are you a struggling actor? Can’t even get a gig as a dead body in an episode of Law & Order? Can’t even get a callback to be an extra in a Valtrex commercial? If you need a Plan B, you may want to look into appearing on a quality show like Who Wants To Be a Superhero, The White Rapper Show, Flavor of Love. It might be time to enroll in the prestigious New York Reality TV School, where you will be taught how to accentuate your most annoying personality traits so that you can snag a coveted spot on reality television with other
attention-seeking reprobates future pop-culture icons.
Will you be the next Puck? The next Trishelle? The next girl whose name no one remembers but whose line, “Hey, girl, hey!” was so memorable that it has its own entry on UrbanDictionary.com?
Your headmaster will be Robert Galinsky, whose claim to fame is starring as a “Fanatic Hasidic Jew” in a film called Brooklyn Babylon. According to Slate, when class is in session, you will be handed the “Eight Commandments of Reality TV School,” which includes the following commandment: “Thou Shall Groom Hairy PITTS,” which stands for “personal issues to tease.” The commandment reads as follows:
As a reality star I will always groom my PITTS and allow them to be accessible. They are relationship, family, work related.
I think this is code for “Expose as much of my dirty laundry as I possibly can within my allotted air time. It is OK if I embarrass and humiliate my family, loved ones and co-workers. Because the temporary thrill of being the center of attention is worth it. I’m worth it. I’m so worth it. Look at me. Please? Love me?”
But wait — where else have we seen use of commandments in the context of reality television?
Master Galinsky may be ambitious, but he certainly isn’t original.
Some of the more memorable commandments that appeared on Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School are as follows: “Thou Shalt Work What Thou Art Working With,” “Thou Shalt Spit Mad Game With Style,” “Unless Thou Can Play, Thou Wilt Be Played” and “Thou Shalt Be Fully Fabulous.” Another one is “Thou Shalt Show Some Class,” but I think it should read: “Thou Shalt Show Some Class, Unless Thou Covet High Ratings, in Which Case, Spit at Thy Neighbor and Use Thy Housemates’ Names in Vain.”
Restraint and poise are not traits that are rewarded in the alternate universe called Reality TV Land. Need proof? According to The Futon Critic, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School ranked among the top 10 original series for basic cable in 2007.
Remember summer camp back when we were kids, and the counselors would create workshops in which we learned things like trust and teamwork? One of these group exercises included blindfolding someone and then having her fall backwards into the waiting arms of the team members, and then everyone would sit in a circle and roast marshmallows while singing “Kumbaya.”
In reality television school, I suspect that the above exercise would include a twist. First, you must gain the trust of someone in the group and then convince her to be blindfolded. This is where the similarities end. The real goal is to convince the rest of your teammates not to catch her and to let her fall to the ground without a safety net.
Guile and deception are traits that will help you advance in any reality show that involves voting people off islands or out of houses. Anyone who repeatedly snookers others into getting blindfolded and falling backwards onto bare asphalt automatically becomes valedictorian, because she will be a prime candidate for winning the cash prize on Survivor or Big Brother and can then donate to the alma mater that molded her into a star.
Anyone who has entertained the thought of trying out for the next round of A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila might consider taking a class. Are you interested?