Originally created 08/12/05

Bad things occur when 15 minutes of fame tick on



I always knew reality television was up to no good.

Insidious and sly, those fly-on-the-wall TV shows that have flooded the airwaves over the past several years are no longer content to mercilessly rule their idiot-box domain. Instead, they've bled, slowly at first but more rapidly now, into other media. Movies, music, even the once sacrosanct fortress of literature, are under siege by the ordinary Joes and Janes who want to extend the 15 minutes of fame reality television granted.

In some cases, we all saw it coming. We knew that Ashlee Simpson, whose reality series focused on her burgeoning music career, would eventually release the collection of rock-lite tunes she girlishly giggled her way through. Even the Saturday Night Live appearance was to be expected. After all, television had made her a public personality with a record to shill.

If there were any justice in the world, that should have been the end of it. But it's not. Ms. Simpson is wrapping production on yet another album and has a movie, titled Undiscovered (we should be so lucky), in the can. It's her sister, Jessica, who rode her Newlyweds series all the way to Hazzard County, all over again.

Lest it sound as though I'm calling open season on Simpsons, I feel the same disdain for other reality stars - using the term "star" loosely - who are capitalizing on society's voyeuristic tendencies.

Bob Guiney, one of the Bachelor bachelors, didn't get the girl, but he did get a book and record deal. In the wake of dumping his Bachelor honey , Mr. Guiney wrote an inspirational, and mercifully short, tome about what life on and off television had taught him. Perhaps that love can't be manufactured over the course of a 12-week series. Once bitten, twice shy, Bob.

That's not nearly as embarrassing as the resurfacing of the album recorded by his Hootie-esque college band Fat Amy (I kid you not) and the Bobber's "getting the band back together, man," this time under the vainglorious moniker the Bob Guiney Band.

These are not isolated incidents. American Idol contestants have, as expected, released music, but a number of them also have taken to acting, writing and, on occasion, bolstering their arrest record.

The final postmodern twist might be the E! network's new show Kill Reality. The concept is simple: Former reality show contestants appear on a reality show on which the prize is a part in a movie. The only thing that could make it better - using the term "better" loosely - is if the B-grade slasher film were about a reality show.

I'd better keep quiet. That might be next.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.



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