I love TV. It makes me laugh, it’s my principle way to watch sports, and most importantly, it serves as the 21st century’s most culturally relevant means of storytelling (sorry, movies). Thanks to DVR and the expansive realm of cable, I now have whatever shows I want to see at my fingertips whenever I want to see them.
Unfortunately, the downside to so many options on TV is that both the big networks and niche cable channels now look to make shows on the cheap, and that means reality shows. Reality TV has infiltrated almost every channel on TV, even where it doesn’t fit: ESPN had the memorable clunker “Dream Job,” while premium channel Showtime will debut its first reality series, “The Real L Word,” early this summer. The phenomenon has become so pervasive that a New York Times article last year estimated that there are one thousand or more reality “stars” on TV at any given time, with ten thousand or more reality TV veterans living in the country, stealing oxygen from worthwhile citizens.
Now, I have my own aggressive euthanasia plan to rid America of reality stars (TLC stars to the front of the line!), but I understand that change doesn’t happen overnight. Before the nation can accept the wholesale slaughter of annoying fame whores, we have to start by making examples of the worst people on reality TV shows today. Here are the ten reality stars that would benefit the television landscape most by getting fed into a meat grinder.
(Note: in the interest of simplicity, awful people presently not on a show, such as Jon Gosselin, will be spared, as will the TV professionals that serve as hosts and judges on reality shows. You live another day, Seacrest.)
10. Chad Rogers from “Million Dollar Listing”
Crimes: Stupid hair, lack of self-awareness, owning a small dog, massive egomania, idiocy, stupid hair. If the photo collage above isn’t enough to make your hands ball into fists of douche-smashing justice, then you’ll need to watch this video:
9. Bethenny Frankel, “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” “Real Housewives of New York City”
Crimes: The usual reality star check-cashing of books, product lines, etc.
Really, I just needed someone to take the fall for the entirety of Bravo’s pernicious “Housewives” franchise. Frankel and Kelly Bensimon are probably the most visible of the many series and therefore the easiest to despise. But Bensimon posed naked for Playboy, while the chipmunk-faced Frankel got pregnant, so you know which one’s gotta go.
8. Megan Hauserman, “Beauty and the Geek,” “Rock of Love,” “I Love Money,” “Rock of Love: Charm School,” “Megan Wants a Millionaire”
Crimes: Accessory to murder; more face time on VH1 than Michael Ian Black.
Although not on a current show, I’m including Hauserman because (a) that is a LOT of reality TV whorin’, and (b) she has another VH1 show in development — a gift from VH1 after “Megan Wants a Millionaire” ended abruptly after one of the finalists murdered his bikini-model ex-wife, cut off her fingers and pulled out her teeth, stuffed her in a suitcase, and tossed her in a Dumpster before fleeing to Canada and hanging himself. Would that have happened if Hauserman had needed a FIFTH reality show? Maybe, maybe not. I say we kill her just in case.
7. Kelly Cutrone, “The Hills,” “The City,” “Kell on Earth”
Crimes: A face only a blind mother listening on the radio could love; participating in the the intellect-draining crimes of MTV’s “Hills” and “The City”; and her book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Post’s review:
An early divorce to much-older painter Ronnie Cutrone prompted a “profound spiritual awakening.” Washed out and jobless in a Los Angeles motel room, a meth-withdrawal-induced hallucination turned her towards the teachings of an Indian guru known as “Mother.” The event gave her life focus.
Cutrone gives blunt, how-to advice on how to be a “power bitch,” including tips on finding a birth coach, “should you find yourself alone and pregnant” (by a hot younger Italian man.)
I can only hope she does find herself alone and pregnant. With one of the chest-burster larvae from the Alien movies.
6. Kim Kardashian, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “Dancing with the Stars”
Crimes: Moving into the mainstream after amateur porn career (instead of turning pro).
Kim is less a true reality star than a tumorous result of America’s celebrity culture. Her noteworthy acts include: being friends with Paris Hilton; filming herself having sex (an act that netted her $5 million in a settlement with Vivid Video); dating a famous athlete; and somehow being famous enough from those acts for her sisters to get their own TV show.
5. Khloe Kardashian, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”
Crimes: Stealing valuable oxygen, escaping from the zoo.
Khloe’s much like Kim, but with Bigfoot DNA instead of being slutty. Also noteworthy: her (allegedly!) sham marriage to NBA star Lamar Odom that was planned in accordance with “Keeping Up’s” filming schedule. She has no redeeming value whatsoever, even superficially.
4. Steven Ward, “Tough Love”
Crimes: Being a dick to women under the pretense of giving them guidance. He might be one of the worst people on the entire planet.
3. Kate Gosselin, “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” “Dancing with the Stars”
Crimes: Abuse of fertility drugs, epic bitchiness, caring more about fame than her children.
The various stories documenting Kate’s awfulness are legion, as are the scores of reports about ex-husband’s Jon’s douchiness. But as much as I dislike that tubby, hair-plugged, Ed Hardy tee-shirt wearing philanderer, at least he’s tucked away somewhere I can’t see him, whereas Kate’s moved from cable to ratings giant “DWTS,” where she used her legendary bitchiness — coupled with stupidity and stubbornness — to drive her professional dance partner to quit.
1 & 2. Spencer and Heidi Pratt, “The Hills,” “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!”
Crimes: Being Spencer and Heidi.
There aren’t words specific enough to describe the lack of recognizable humanity in these selfish, shallow, callous, vapid empty vessels of carbon compounds. They deserve to be raped by bears, ground into slurry, and fed to barn animals.
So who else makes the list? Let’s round out the cast for Fox’s next big reality hit, “Celebrity Death Panel.”