If you ask me, reality TV has gotten a little too real these days. First there's the ongoing reality TV "War of the Roses" that is Jon and Kate Gosselin. Then, over the weekend, Ashley "AJ" Jewell, ex-fiance of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kandi Burruss was killed in a fight outside an Atlanta strip club.
Of course neither one of these events could ever be placed under the category of entertainment and yet they are inexorably attached to our modern day entertainment world. Am I the only one who finds that disturbing in more ways than one?
Regarding Jewell's death, local news reports had this police statement: "It appears he was involved in an altercation in the parking lot and he received a severe blow to the head," said Atlanta Police Lt. Keith Meadow. Fredrick Richardson has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with Jewell's death.
Poor Kandi Burruss (pictured far right). When she took this "Housewives" gig, she probably thought, I'll do a season, just enough to put a kick in my career and who knows, it might be fun. Now not only has she lost someone very close to her, but she has to play out that loss in front of reality TV cameras. Who can help but sympathize?
On the Bravo TV website, a statement about the incident included the following:
All of us at Bravotv.com were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Ashley "AJ" Jewell, featured on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Kandi is devastated as she is also mourning the death of her uncle, Ralph Leslie, and is attending his funeral today. She has no statement to make at this time and asks for privacy. There are no final details on the death of AJ."
Kandi has also reached out to fans on her Twitter page: "I could never in a million years imagine this happening," she posted. "Please pray for AJ's children. That's who I'm the most concerned for.
Yeah, it's the kids who always get it in the neck, isn't it?
Which brings me to the Jon and Kate Gosselin natural disaster.
As someone who's never watched more than ten minutes of their show, let me see if I have this straight: these two people, Jon and Kate have eight kids, twins and sextuplets. They do this TLC reality TV show, "Jon and Kate Plus 8."
That's when things go terribly wrong: Jon cheats on Kate, Jon and Kate split, TV show keeps going except Jon badmouths Kate. So TLC fires Jon and makes it "Kate Plus 8, Minus Jon."
Then Jon is like, I don't want my kids on that show anymore, it's bad for them. So make it "Kate Minus Jon, Minus 8."
So then "Kate Minus Jon, Minus 8" co-hosts "The View" and says she needs money, that's why she has to be "Kate Plus 8." Then "Kate Minus Jon, Minus 8" goes on "The Today Show" and says she really needs money because, "Jon Minus Kate, Minus 8" took $230,000 out of their joint bank account.
So "Jon Plus Kate" do the TV tango while the "Plus 8," who never had a say about any of this, find themselves in front of those same reality TV show cameras.
Who can help but sympathize?
Lola Adesioye at The Grio thinks reality TV producers should show more reality and less of the phoniness of reality TV.
Black and Married with Kids has excerpts of an interview Kandi Burruss did with Essence Magazine, published last month.
Lisa Simmons at Socialite Life has more on Kate's appearance on "The Today Show."
Megan Smith is the BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television/Online Video. Her other blogs are Megan's Minute, quirky commentary around the clock and Meg's Rad Reviews
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