David Kronke of the LA Times is absolutely horrified by the "harpies" of reality television, and wonders what Jane Austen would make of "the genre's lurid fascination with attractive and monumentally self-absorbed young women." Oh, dear.

It is a truth blah blah blah blah that Jane Austen must be brought into the conversation whenever the standards of decorum amongst young women in society are discussed, and Kronke doesn't disappoint, quoting both Emma and Pride and Prejudice in order to illustrate his points regarding the out-of-control nature of female reality show contestants.


It's a frustrating piece in that Kronke attacks the "rowdy, raunchy" women of reality television without stopping to also address the behaviors of their male counterparts; he brings up the nude photos and sex tapes attached to the Real Housewives series, for example, but conveniently fails to mention male reality show contestants Ryan Jenkins or Brian Lee Randone, who were both accused of murder after their shows aired.

Kronke feels the need to tear apart shows like The Girls Next Door and Bridezillas without actually taking the time to recognize the cultural forces that shape such "realities." He pays no attention to the wedding-industrial-complex behind Bridezillas or Playboy, the magazine behind the Girls Next Door series, and when he discusses Jersey Shore, he only speaks to the behaviors of J-Woww and Snooki, whom, he notes, "passed out within hours of joining the production, then woke up vomiting." There is nothing mentioned about DJ Pauly D or The Situation's sexist treatment of women, nor is there a mention of Snooki being physically assaulted by a drunk man at a bar. I suppose those insights would detract from the main narrative of the piece: that women—and perhaps only women—should be ashamed to display such behaviors.

"On cable's reality shows, dancing like a stripper and decking costars are the encouraged routes to landing one's dream guy," Kronke notes. And yet he seems to think that that's a pattern women fell into on their own: surely the upstanding gentlemen of reality television (and the societal forces that brought them to the mainstream), the murderers, the washed up rockstars, the misogynists, and the "tools" who need their own academy to learn how to be decent human beings can't possibly be blamed for the devolution of what we take as "reality" on screen. Men getting away with atrocious behavior while women are condemned for doing the same? Jane Austen might have something to say about that, too, don't you think?


Girls Gone Wild On TV [LATimes]
Brian Lee Randone: Former Reality Show Contestant Accused Of Murdering Girlfriend [HuffingtonPost]

Earlier: VH1 Scrambles To Distance Itself From Reality Star, Murder Suspect