Over the years, VH1, once the hip older brother to MTV’s precocious younger sibling, has reduced itself to the creepy, slovenly and ignorant uncle that you avoid at family gatherings. It’s sad seeing the network being degraded, much like seeing MTV undergo a sex change to re-emerge as the hyperactive, spoiled teenage girl that it now covets for attention.
Part of the blame can be placed on its devotion to broaden its demographics. Shows glamorizing the spoils of the rich and famous (The Fabulous Life) are an easy target. Even easier is the Celebreality slate of gross buffoonery, putting the worst qualities of human nature (greed, jealousy, anger, slovenliness, sexual freakitude) on a glowing-box of a pedestal for the masses to lap up like slop out of a trough. And I will admit to watch some of these shows, partly for background noise, partly for a study in pop culture, and partly to flog myself when I have an inkling of hope in human kind.
While most if not all of these shows have elements that would embarrass most people with a pulse, one in particular draws enough scorn to power a Republican National Convention in Las Vegas: Real Chance of Love.
Real Chance of Love has all the traits for a NAACP call to action: racial and gender stereotypes to turn a “blue” comic purple; superficiality more overt than a hooker down on her luck; and ignorant behavior that would shame Terrell Owens into being humble (or 50 Cent on a normal day). And this is being kind.
It is trash. It perpetuates the notion that African-Americans are nothing more than dumb clowns and that women, particularly black women, are vapid, shallow vampires looking to suck the souls and wallets of anyone they can profit from, but only after they tear down their own gender to get what they want. And it shows that the already-thin believability of reality television can sink that much lower with no irony whatsoever.
You might be asking yourself, ‘Why are you complaining about this? It can’t be THAT BAD.’ Oh, but it IS. THAT. BAD. See for yourself:
None of this matters, though, as networks only care about viewers and money. The production company behind this tripe, 51 Minds, and VH1 will continue to mine as deep as possible into the lowest common denominator oil vein until the well is tapped. I honestly hope that viewers wise up before their attention span and attention span for inanity are fully drained.