Ever glanced inside someone else’s medicine cabinet, curious about their face creams or– even more exciting– their medication? Ever stood in the grocery line feeling self-righteous when a person buys both Slim Fast and a tub of Chunky Monkey ice cream? Ever encouraged Fido to do his business in front of the house of your recently divorced neighbor, hoping for a peek to see who she’s entertaining between not-quite-closed shades? Or read the police blotter in the local paper, secretly cheering when the upstanding PTA member gets busted for shoplifting lipstick at Wal-Mart or pulled over for a DWI?
If you answered no to all of the above–shut down your computer. This story is not for you. Skip all religious services. No need. You have a free pass to heaven. Everyone else–read on.
For all those left reading (like, everybody), what better (and cheaper) way to pass cold dark nights than peeping into other people’s homes, watching as they struggle with each other, jockey for position or just plain exhibit themselves. Yes, it’s fun to watch and mock or laugh or feel so much smarter and better than those inside, even as you identity with, and label the inhabitants as angels or demons. That’s right, ladies, we’re talking about reality TV.
Shows like Real Housewives and the Kardashians and Jersey Shore invite their audience to peep– they ask us to be hungry voyeurs, witnesses to stupidity, greed, betrayal, and general nuttiness. And we’re all too happy to oblige. Or who can resist the contests like America’s Next Top Model, Top Chef, Project Runway as they throw one aspirant against another in the modern pit?
What does this say about human nature?
Maybe you’re saying: I don’t watch those shows with a mean spirit! I wish all those people only the best!
We say: really?
Give us a show featuring well-adjusted, reasonable, ordinary people succeeding in reasonable ways– and we’ll show you a big fat cancelled notice.
Bare your souls, bitches. Tell us how you peep. What turns you on?