Reality TV keeps getting worse

IT’S FILTHY work, but somebody has to do it. I do mean sitting down the other night to watch “Living Lohan” and “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated,” the ladies’ new “reality” shows. I consider reality television the bottom of the barrel and the true source of the coarsening of the culture. A pox on MTV for bringing upon us the current apocalypse of bad taste and cringe-inducing exhibitionism. You recall it was 1992’s “The Real World” that began it all. Dina Lohan, the real Mama Rose, re-defines the word “hard.” Whatever gentler qualities she may have as a person or a mother, they are lost in her TV attitude. Careful editing helps. Nobody wants to see a nice Dina who does not seem to be shamelessly using her children–especially young Ali Lohan, who wants a career in music. As for Denise Richards, the episode I caught had this ex-wife of Charlie Sheen whining about wanting to change her image–which is a fabrication of the media, she insists–and to let people in on the “real me.” Any temptation I might have had to listen to Denise tell her side of the virulent, on-going battle between her and Sheen, ended as the credits faded on this show. Her two children with Charlie are still very young and make appearances. As with all “reality” shows, there are planned situations and nothing is actually “real.” The way these shows are cut and spliced make all the difference. Dina and Denise do not have positive public images. If they thought these staged glimpses into their souls would change that, they were wrong. But maybe I’m wrong in assuming they care? Or have souls?

PBS HAS rolled out Rita Rudner’s one-woman comedy special all over the U.S. She also has a play opening in Vegas, titled “Room 776,” written with her husband, Martin Bergman.

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