I'm the person who follows entertainment news-stories in my Tweetdeck Feed. News-stories of shows and people I do not watch generally on the television, movies or the internet.
Why? I'm a comedian. A comedian more prone to watch an old movie before what is currently more popular. I seriously could not give you a breakdown of a Reality Based Show. The only way I could humanly tell who Snookie was if she walked up on me, is for her to dress like she does in a picture shown on E-Online. Even then she would have to announce "I'm Snookie. You know...that girl on Jersey Shore"
Oh yea! The show I don't watch and wish as an actor all of you would go back to the dive bar they pulled you out of! Nice to meet you to finally tell you that.
So, I follow the News-feeds from sources like major newspapers and networks from their entertainment sections. I read the articles on these shows via breakdowns on websites like TV Gasm (I follow them because I also follow dear comedian friends who write for this site) and I specifically read the comment section to pull off what the actual non comedic patrons feel about their favorite Reality Shows.
This is why I go to these sites. The online comments. They fall into amazing categories:
- The people who talk about these people as though they are not real people and are instead characters on a Soap Opera. (I call them The New Online Water Coolers)
- Folks who feel just horrible about watching these types of shows and still do. (I call them Train Wreck Gawkers)
- The people who watch the shows just to get on the site to tell everyone how messed up they are. (The Self Effacers)
- The lone two people who don't watch the show to tell people how messed up other commenters are. (Cubicle Guy Asking New Online Water Coolers to Get Back to Real Work)
- The Administrators. (The Keykeepers to The Asylum)
I hit these sites because as a person who feels comedy needs to observe: If I was left to the things of my true liking...my comedy would have a tons of Marx Brothers and Nosferatu jokes. I would have been a hit in 1941.
I hate Reality Shows. So expressed all over the place and part of my blogging. Not only as a layman who has to flip the station to not hear the "Bleep" Sound used more than actual words? But as an actor who has to shift through her inbox to delete the complete audacity of producers asking if I wish to be on a Reality Show.
Why am I getting these emails? Why would any actor get these emails? Are they hoping they can score a Non Union Actor who just happens to be rich/a horder/a compulsive/a horror about to get married/a real estate agent who is completely dysfunctional? Has been my personal battle cry on acting websites.
Besides I'm SAG/AFTRA. I'm not Non Union. I'm also not insane enough to ruin my life on over edited Reality Shows turning my life into a Soap Opera for The New Online Water Coolers, Train Wreck Gawkers, Self Effacers and The Guy in The Cubicle Telling Everyone to get Back To Real Work who comment on the sites where The Keykeepers to the Asylum have to oversee.
But Shaun, some New Online Water Cooler will ask, It's entertainment!
It is? Really?
I wonder today if the family of Russell Armstrong are thinking the same thing these online site commenters are writing right now.
Who is Russell Armstrong for those like me more inclined to pop on A Day At The Races before having to watch one more Reality Based show edited to the point where it should just be named "Super Horrible People": Russell Armstrong was the husband of Taylor Armstrong who is part of the Reality Show "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" She is considered a "Reality Star"
I will always put quotations around the term "Reality Star".
Someone in this family decided for whatever reason that their lives were worthy of being thrust upon the American Public. Maybe it was for the horrible considered notriety (Snookie with more money around palm trees). Maybe they are not as "Rich" as their Beverly Hills lifestyle would suggest, and needed the money. I don't know the reasons. All I know is "Here they are on television"
Someone in that family decided to have cameras in their home to tape every movement, and in turn edit it together to give it the type of Soap Opera Story Arc that people who reside on websites like TV Gasm Crave.
According to all accounts from the Online Water Coolers and Train Wreck Gawkers Mr. Armstrong was considered The Bay Guy. He just might have been. Maybe he was not. Maybe they caught his ultimate frustration and edited to a nice clean package of him being the bad guy. Every good story needs a bad guy to jeer against in a soap opera and talk about at the Online Water Cooler.
Thing is: This was not an actor playing a character named Russell Armstrong. This was a man named Russell Armstrong.
His life (along with his seemingly willing wife and unfortunate child who did not have a say in the matter) has been seen in front of millions of viewers self destruct. They were going through a divorce by the end of the last season, according to online reports and from the Train Wreck Gawkers and Online Water Coolers.
Today, Mr. Armstrong was found dead from an apparent suicide. It was at his friend's house. He was found hanging in his friend's home.
There was not a suicide note. Maybe it was foul play. Maybe Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was pretty much a good explanation.
In the real life newspaper of NBC Los Angeles they report (from the more than gleeful this is occuring TMZ): That Ms. Armstrong was "Hysterical" and had "No words" and "Does not understand why he would do this"
She cannot understand why. That is not saying much for Ms. Armstrong. Maybe she was too busy trying to hide her mic pack to realize that her husband was in severe distress.
Maybe she should re-look at her finely edited "Real Housewives" tapes to see a pretty despondent Mr. Armstrong being protrayed as the bad guy in the over the top "Real Housewives Adventures" Six years of marriage and a child and was divorcing him for "Irreconcilable Differences" according to NBC Los Angeles Online.
You see Ms. Armstrong, in the real world there are a lot of people (both men and women) who find that their lives cannot go on without the person who they felt loved them. You ma'am, let that play out in front of millions of people. Millions. Millions who are sitting at their Online Water Coolers.
What is worse: These people can no longer discern that you are a real person. Reality Shows disconnect people from actual reality to your life being an unreal character. That is how producers edit your show: It is taking your life and mixing it to fit a storyline for producers who don't wish to hire writers to achieve...or actors to protray...in your home where they don't wish to hire set designers.
You are the cause Ms. Armstrong. Your need in thinking that you are the very loosley termed "Star" of a Reality Show. You are the person who had your family with you too. And where does it end in the realness of it all: A divorce, a despondent husband and a suicide.
That is the actual horrible reality.
Meanwhile in bizarro world there is a comment on TV Gasm that made me come close to becoming The Guy in The Cubicle to a Train Wreck Gawker:
Shocking news. I agree with Thruthsquad about him being pushed over the edge. What a horrible man to do that to his daughter. She’s old enough that this will impact her for the rest of her life.
But on a superficial note, I hope this doesn’t delay the start of the series next month. I know. I’m heartless.
This comment made me write this article. What a horrible man to do something like this to his daughter. What a horrible thing to do! Boy. I hope it doesn't delay me watching the outcome to this Reality Show. Because I'm a pretty horrible, superficial person too.
This is what Reality Shows do to people. They turn the people actually interested in this type of viewing into the outwardly vicious, mean people they are watching via editing. Instead of sitting around the water cooler and talking about "A Fake Character" They can now wait for a real person life to be actually destroyed before the "Soap Commercial comes on"
For the movie reference in me: We are officially steps away from The Running Man. We have already crossed The Truman Show Line. We are steps away from The Running Man.
Maybe the producers of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will win an Emmy. Maybe Ms. Armstrong will get one for Best Reality Star" in a Series. Maybe the season opener is The Funeral of Russell Armstrong: Who will comfort Taylor? Will her daughter hate her for the rest of her life and blame her? Who will be the new love interest?
Tune in next week for....
Meanwhile a professional actor, writer and set director sells off their classic movie collections because they don't make dramas or soap operas anymore. They, silently cry.
What just happened to The Armstrong's is no longer a tragedy in real life. It is a Friday Show Stopper Story Arc worthy of As The World Turns.
Except in that world...The actor left because he was through with the show.
Not that the "Reality Star" was through with living.
My sincere condolences to the child of Russell Armstrong.
Causes Shaun Landry Supports
The Alzheimer's Foundation, NAACP, Breast Cancer Foundation, Gilda's Club.