Fox Reality Really awards: scripted, pointless

Someday, reality TV may get the recognition it deserves on an awards show, but that day has not yet arrived. Five talented hosts bungled their opportunity on the Emmys, and the awards show created by the all-reality TV Fox Reality Channel proved on Saturday night that it’s simply a joke, a poorly constructed, quasi-promotional vehicle for the network’s other shows that’s not to be taken seriously.

The Fox Reality Channel Really Awards did live up to their name: Really? This is really what reality TV, the genre that changed television, deserves? We’re really expected to believe that this awards show has any kind of actual integrity despite not mentioning how the winners are selected? And these are really the best reality show stars the show’s producers could get to show up? Kato Kaelin? Omarosa? Evel Dick? Danny Bonaduce? Jonny Fairplay? Really? What year is this? (Some are actually stars of a new Fox Reality Channel show, which perhaps excuses their appearance.)

While the show made headlines last year for an actual unscripted moment–Jonny Fairplay jumped on Danny Bonaduce, who flung Fairplay over his head, causing Fairplay to land on his face–and later sue Danny Bonaduce over his injuries–it opened this year with an entirely set up, not at all funny segment with Danny Bonaduce and Jonny Fairplay who ended up kissing. And that was the highlight.

Besides being one of those lame awards shows where you know who’s going to win because only one of the winners is actually in the audience, the awards show didn’t mention who actually selected the winners, which suggests that the whole thing is total bullshit and that awards were given to those who would agree to show up. (Even the network’s announcement only said one category–performer of the year–would be selected by viewers; otherwise, there was no mention of the selection process.) However, they did give an award to American Idol for having the highest ratings, which would have been less fishy if that wasn’t a Fox show and the awards didn’t air on the Fox Reality Channel, which gave no other such ratings-based award.

As to the telecast, despite scripting all of the host and presenter’s comments (as all awards shows do), it still managed to be completely devoid of entertainment. Host Alonzo Boden kept delivering empty promises: “this show is going to go insane,” “if you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t seen nothing yet.” That’s certainly true: we pretty much saw nothing.

Overall, it did little more than encourage the scripted moments and bad behavior (by giving attention to attention-whores such as Rocky DeMarco) that are both becoming all too common on reality TV. Certainly, the genre has plenty of trash, and celebrating that would be great fun.

But the awards show can’t insist it “celebrates the best in reality television” and then just swim around in the sewer.

I’ve always wondered why the Fox Reality Channel insists upon airing new shows on Saturday nights, the least-watched night of the week, but for this show, it made perfect sense, because it’s probably the one time of the week when viewers are as likely to be drunk as the people on the show.

Here are the “winners,” a term that deserves the scare quotes, according to the Fox Reality Channel press release, which was more entertaining to read than the show was to watch:

Favorite Duo: Corey and Susie from “The Two Coreys”
Awkward Moment of the Year: Brett Michaels/Megan Hauserman from “Rock of Love 2″
Favorite Throwdown: Brandon “Bo” Kunkle & Chad Tulik from “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila”
Favorite Meltdown: Rocky DeMarco from “I Know My Kid’s A Star”
Favorite Altered State: Erin Moran from “Celebrity Fit Club” Favorite Villain: Greg Halstead from “The Real World Hollywood”
Favorite Hottie: Antonio Sabato Jr. from “Celebrity Circus”
Favorite Potty mouth: Jeff Conaway from “Celebrity Rehab”
Favorite Performer of the Year: DeAnna Pappas “The Bachelorette”
Favorite Host: Jerry Springer from “America’s Got Talent”
America’s Favorite Reality Program: “American Idol”
Favorite Competition Program: “So You Think You Can Dance”
Favorite Non Competition Program: “Deadliest Catch”

Really Awards Show 2008 [Hulu]
And the Golden Realitini Goes To… [Fox Reality Channel press release]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.