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The Reality of the Situation

31 Mar

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Ward 8 in Washington DC has the highest unemployment rate in the city. This should not be news to anyone who gives a damn. It is usually (one of) the highest in everything: violence, HIV infections, illiteracy. So to hear that there is a 25.2% unemployment rate in my Ward is no surprise.

At the same, almost daily it seems, a new “reality” show is introduced. Most are centered around the most trivial and ridiculous personas I have ever seen. I am not a fan of this wave of television and am frankly digusted with it; apparently I am in the minority or the numbers wouldn’t be on the rise. My point? These shows are not about reality at all.

I’d like to see a show that is unscripted. A show that is about REALITY. Programming that would reflect the times in which we find ourselves. Let’s chronicle the unemployed, the homeless, students struggling to get a quality education…something, anything worthwhile. But, would anybody watch? More importantly, would anyone be courageous enough to air it?

I understand that the current reality craze are the equivalent of soap operas. It is actually a much-needed break from reality; an opportunity to focus on something so inane that we can forget for a little while. However, why can’t we take a real look at reality? Why can’t we reclaim this genre and do something good? Why not pay the unemployed thousands of dollars an episode rather than pseudo-reality stars?

I’m gonna have to reach out to some of my colleagues in the film genre and see who’s in. I’m game. Shining a bright light to change lives while restoring dignity with a paycheck on the side? Sounds like a win-win-win.

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