More and more reality TV shows bare it all
Flip through the TV on any given evening and chances are you’ll come across a reality-TV show in which the premise centers on someone being naked.
Given our puritanical roots, no one can argue that it’s an easy way to get our attention.
One of the more notable hit shows of this recent genre is Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid.” The object of the show is to watch as a man and a woman—complete strangers—fend off beasts, bugs and nature, all while in the buff.
We must suppose the reason producers don’t use actual couples is because of the constant bickering that likely would ensue.
Who wants to watch naked people do that?
There’s nothing even remotely sexy about it. The participants on “Naked and Afraid” are tired, itchy and dirty, and usually are too weak from hunger to argue much, though at some point, the woman almost always dissolves into tears.
That’s um, entertainment?
On VH-1, the participants of “Dating Naked” seem much happier about it. They’re young attractive couples who have never met, and who get to hang out, so to speak, at tropical and exotic locales.
Why does no one ever seem to date naked in International Falls, Minnesota, or along Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or in Canton?
The couple always manages to seem to fall in love right away. It would be interesting to see just one outtake in which the initial response is “Ewww.”
Even on reality shows where being nude isn’t necessarily the point, some form of nakedness somehow manages to make its way in. From “The Shahs of Sunset,” to “Botched” to “My 600-lb Life,” if a reality show doesn’t have at least one episode in which something must be blurred out, it’s probably not long for this world.
Last year, WeTV offered the mercifully short-lived “Sex Box.” It was based on a British series by the same name, but nudity on TV in the U.K. has been ho-hum for decades. The American version was so abysmal that nothing, not even the knowledge that people were inside of a box, and imagining what was going on inside the box, was enough to save it.
Perhaps its failure had something to do with its vapid and self-absorbed couples and the alleged experts who clearly sold their souls for a buck.
Also, there was something unseemly about the voyeuristic nature of the show. Here in America, we like our debauchery to be tastefully wrapped in a cheesy storyline.
We must imagine that the next evolution will be “Naked, Lazy and Bored: We watch as bored people, who are too lazy to get dressed, watch bad reality TV.”