The 7 Deadly Sins as Reality TV Shows
The Seven Deadly Sins are good things to avoid. But sometimes it’s hard to know how. How do we watch out for Wrath? Isn’t Envy others people’s problem? And I thought Pride was a good thing. Like gay pride, those parades are a blast! If we can’t understand the sins, then we can’t avoid them. When meanings are lost the lines between right and wrong blur and the next thing you know you’re drunk on a date with your neighbor’s wife, paying for everything with a stolen credit card you beat up a priest for! I’ve seen it too many times. It’s sad and I don’t want it to happen to you, so I’m putting the sins in terms we call all understand: Reality television terms.
Lust is Rock of Love Lust is most often portrayed as a sexual vice. Surprisingly, Bret Michaels is not the major luster on Rock of Love— the 44 sluts he has had on his show are. All they want is to hook up with a Rock Star. It doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years past his prime. It doesn’t matter that he is bedding dozens of other women right in front of them. It doesn’t even matter that his red bandana is only there so his wig looks less obvious. They just want him–in the hot tub, in the VH1 mansion and in the back of the tour bus, wherever they can get him. If that doesn’t work they’ll suck tequila out of the belly button of their fellow stripper (who’s trying to bed the same man) until they’re drunk enough to make out with each other. If you ever find yourself acting similar to a drunk, nasty, horny, lady on Rock of Love, you probably have a problem with Lust (and an STD).
Gluttony is Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Gluttony is when you just can’t get enough, like every single person on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” Not only can’t they get enough drugs or alcohol, they can’t get enough of being a celebrity. The show is three seasons of B-level celebrities who have moved from the gluttonous consumption of meth, cocaine and alcohol to the gluttonous need to be watched and fawned over. Hey, Jeff Conway take a break! Get off TV and go be alone for a few hours. Of course, it’s not just the celebrities. Dr. Drew can’t get out of this one unscathed either. He’s a good doctor, he’s incredibly smart and has done wonderful things for people, but it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t mind sensationalizing his patient’s problems if it gets him a bit more screen time. You can’t tell me that someone who has appeared on Hollywood Squares, Big Brother, The Young and The Restless, My Gym Partner’s a Monkey, Dawson’s Creek Dancing with the Stars, Robot Chicken, Celebrity Sex Rehab and the movie Wild Hogs isn’t a bit gluttonous about being on camera. The first step to ending gluttony is to just say “no,” to drugs, alcohol or crappy projects.
Greed is The Apprentice Last year Forbes estimated Donald Trump’s new worth at $2.7 billion. Trump himself says it’s closer to $5 billion. He is currently being paid $3 million dollars per episode of the show. The reason Trump and The Apprentice exemplifies Greed is easier to see when we look at it’s opposite virtue, Generosity. Generosity is praising others, giving to others or letting someone else have their due credit. Not exactly something you can say about a man who has filed a trademark claim on the phrase, “You’re Fired.” The show is about getting yours by whatever means necessary, be it yelling, crying or saying someone is “worse that Hitler.” I’m looking at you Joan Rivers! It’s about making more money than your fellow contestant and throwing them under the bus the first chance you get. Look at its most famous cast member, Omarosa. If she were any more selfish about getting what she believes she deserves she’d be on VH1 taking over for New York. However, it’s all trickle down from The Donald. It’s his show, his rules and his stupid haircut. He is the star. If you talk over him, he’ll shout at you to shut up, if you try and take underserved credit, you’re fired (patent pending) and if you cause him to lose any money he’ll disgrace you in pubic and force you back to daytime TV with your tail between your leg (just ask Martha Stewart).
Wrath is Hell’s Kitchen The shouting, the screaming, the cussing, the smashed plates, the burns, the stitches, the angry customers. You stupid, fat, donkey! F*ck off! Get out!! THIS IS WRATH!!! We all have our Ramsay moments, the urge to call someone “fat boy” when they’re not up to our standards, to hurl insults when the risotto doesn’t taste perfect. Wrath surrounds Hell’s Kitchen. It’s in the frustrated bitchy customers; it’s in the backstabbing that happens when someone’s lack of meat-cut knowledge holds the rest of the team back from going on a helicopter ride to Catalina Island and instead forces them to shell clams all day; it’s in Gordon Ramsay. There is, however, one person who almost always exemplifies the kindness and patience that is the antithesis of Wrath—the Belgian maître d’ of Hell’s Kitchen, Jean Philippe. Season after season we watch him take crap from Gordan Ramsay, the contestants and customer after customer after customer and he almost never loses his cool. He smiles and apologizes and moves on. He is almost unflappable. So although Gordon’s outrageous attitude is absolutely entertaining to watch and really makes the show, in real life I am always struggling to be a little more Jean Philippe and a little less Gordon Ramsey. Unless someone f*cks up my risotto!!!!!
Sloth is Big Brother I haven’t seen much of Big Brother because it personifies sloth so exactly. Every time I turn it on all I see are a bunch of people slumped back into giant couches. Kind of talking, but not really. Sometimes someone is cooking and a few other people are standing around watching. It’s just a bunch of people living in a little fake house…living there. That’s it! Nobody is ever doing anything! This is Sloth. Their “house” is a set on the CBS lot, right down the hall from the Price is Right set. I know they can’t really go anywhere, but these people could be based on Mount Vesuvius and they’d still spend all day playing half a game of pool only to fall asleep in front of an aquarium. (If you think these contestants are boring in daylight, try watching them while they’re not “performing” for the camera. I dare you to tune into Showtime’s Big Brother After Dark, aka Green Night Vision TV.)
Envy is America’s Next Top Model AMNTM is filled with beautiful, sexy women trying to be more beautiful and sexier than each other, trying to show each other up every week, in every way possible. When they fail, that expression on their face? That’s envy. And then there’s Tyra. Trya wants everything to be about her. Each season, twelve or so model hopefuls arrive and spend the next thirteen episodes trying to live up to Tyra, who every week kicks one of them off the AMNTM ledge with her Bruno Magli heel. It’s like peasants praying to a Golden Calf, if the Golden Calf were always telling you how awesome and golden it was. But that’s what Tyra does, show-off how well she can cry, pretend to be compassionate and tout her “amazing” signature look every chance she gets. If a model protégé has a sob story, Tyra has one that’s worse. When you resent everyone and everything they have, even if you have so much more, that’s envy. And that, in a nutshell, is Tyra.
Pride is American Idol It’s America’s favorite reality show. And it knows it. Each show begins with Seacrest saying, “…….and THIS is American Idol,” with an unsaid, “and you’re not.” Every week a host makes a comment about how tonight is the biggest night of a singer’s career. The first portion of every season is dedicated to showing how badly so many people want to be a part of it. The contestants get cockier and more full of themselves every year. Simon Cowell, the know-it-all who, I’ll admit, usually does, sits there with a smug smile, stuffed into a black or white V-neck, waiting to tell people what they did wrong. He knows he’s the reason the show is a hit. When he winks to the camera, it almost makes a sound it’s so full of disdain for anyone that’s not him. It is also with an over abundance of Pride that every single year Ryan Seacrest brags about how this is the most votes they have ever received in American Idol history! We get it, you’re popular.