Reality Lapse


When Fox's reality TV show Fear Factor announced Playboy bunnies would entertain football fans during the Super Bowl, it seemed that the entire genre had finally jumped the shark, starting its long, slow decline into the crowded pit of cultural irrelevance.

Wrong. The decline is decisive and coming soon to a small screen near you: Reality TV producers are teaming up with Pentagon staffers to bring starry-eye patriots scenes from the front lines in the War on Terrorism, reports the Los Angeles Times.

No doubt, war-based shows are likely to be an outrageous hit, if the box office draw of films purporting to display the "reality" of blood-and-guts armed conflict are any indicator.

But what could better undermine the pretension of reality in shows such as Survivor and Temptation Island than the announcement that in the new franchise, the boys in the backroom will be helping to hammer out storylines? In filming the battles, reality TV may have just lost the war.