Reality shows are one of humankind's last strongholds against the invading forces of quality television. Why work hard to invent narratives that can be enjoyed for generations when you can follow the exploits of a duck-call factory and immerse yourselves in homophobia and Walmart-T-shirt-ready quips? Evolution hasn't come up with a better way to depress people than reality television yet -- luckily it's only a placeholder until cancer becomes contagious.
Despite the fact that most of these shows take the human soul and bake it into something maliciously digestible, what happened after a few of them went off the air paints a far more tragic and insane picture. Get ready for the saddest part of your day, whole Internet.
4Tila Tequila Understands You, Hitler
It's hard to imagine a world without the standard set by the MTV clusterfuck of a clusterfuck A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila. Gone are the relatively harmless dating/game shows of old, where the most risque thing is a husband revealing that he might have been napping when he should have been begrudgingly washing dishes and that he surprisingly thinks about sex from time to time. Every dating show, from now until the end of forever, has to match the same level of misplaced intensity and blundering lack of respect that was displayed in A Shot at Love. When Jonathan Edwards wrote the "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon, he was showing real foresight for a future society that would have Tila Tequila as a benchmark in its pop culture.
"Their foot shall slide in due time ... pass the lube."
The show received a sequel, because hate conquers all, and then Tequila faded into relative obscurity for a few years. But if you've decided that your stage name is going to end with "Tequila," you've already made an unspoken pact with yourself to never settle for anything less than omnipotent misery for everyone around you. Nowadays, she posts pictures of herself and gives advice to people who have problems like cheating spouses, because when you have issues with the most intimate parts of your life, there is no one better to go to than the star of A Shot at Love II. But, before settling into being the Internet's premiere expert on what it's like to be both Tila Tequila AND have Internet access, she wrote a blog post titled "Why I Sympathize With Hitler Part 1: True History Unveiled." After defining herself as Tila "My Natural Habitat Is Thick, Cloudy Hot Tub Water" Tequila, this was her "Bruce Willis has been dead the whole time!" moment.
"I see 11 million dead people."
While she would go on to delete the post (because it's bad form to take relationship advice from a person who defends the former leader of the Nazi Party), the Internet couldn't fathom it and would scarcely let her forget it. This was the woman behind the song "I Fucked the DJ" delivering previously unknown details about the man behind one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century. If I sent that last sentence in as a headline pitch to one of the many shitty ripoffs of The Onion prior to this whole mess happening, their single editorial note back would've read "Unbelievable. How? Also, you're a moron."
And it wasn't only some true history being unveiled. Apparently, it was enough that it would warrant more than one part. I don't know if you're aware of all the outstanding qualities of Hitler, but they don't need their own blog post, much less a series like the Hobbit trilogy. She would end up describing him as "special and sweet" and stated that he "stood up for his country in a DESPERATE TIME OF NEED." It's a view of history that has a few glaring holes in it, and I'm still patiently waiting for her sequel article, "Ed Gein Was an Amazing Tailor: Part 1 (of 8)."
Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"We all wear masks."
She went on to compare her own plight to that of Hitler's, and would make anti-Semitic statements about James Howe, a recently deceased director of A Shot at Love. So that she could corner the other markets necessary for her acceptance into the Legion of Doom, she also claimed that Paul Walker's death was a ritual murder and called out the Illuminati for their numerous offenses. It was like she was trying to cross every item off of some unfortunate bucket list, and each item was just "Be the worst."
3Buckwild Is Simply Depressing
MTV thought it had a new Jersey Shore on its hands with Buckwild. They both followed the same business model:
Step 1: MTV posts a casting call, basically looking for people with accents who seem to lack conventional etiquette.
Step 2: MTV films them doing things that are either A) too CRAZY (or, in the case of Buckwild, too REDNECK) for normal people to undertake, or B) different from the way that we, average people who don't roll down hills while stuffed inside tractor tires, would do them. Eventually, the cast makes out with or punches each other enough for some kind of loose arc to form that the producers can manipulate into a dramatic story.
Step 3: MTV makes millions, while the cast becomes a parody of similar people who aren't the focus of a reality show. Somewhere, a mother sobs once and then explodes into dust.
It's a kinder fate than mandatory retirement.
Buckwild lasted for one season, and if you didn't know anything about literally anything in human existence, it would seem that there is nothing to do in Charleston, West Virginia, but go mudding. From the amount that the teens in Buckwild drove their vehicles through swamps of water and dirt, you'd think that they'd figured out a way for it to replace nutrients as a prime source of energy. A mudding montage was the go-to motif in Buckwild, with the overall theme being that Southern people, if given constant opportunities, will shout, "YEEEAAAAHHHHHH," regardless of context.
In the middle of filming the second season, one of the cast members, along with his uncle and a friend, died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a mudding accident. It happened during a break in production, so there were no cameras there at the time.
"In lieu of flowers, please YEEEEEAHHHHHHH all the way to the cemetery. It's what they would've wanted."
And throughout the year of the show's debut, four of the main cast would go on to be arrested, due to drug possession and DUI. Even after the accident, one of the producers, J.P. Williams, wanted to restore the show by setting it in a different location with new cast members. I wish I could put myself inside the head of a man who wants to valiantly push forward with an MTV reality show even after lives have been lost, but I fear that I'd last only a few seconds before tearing out my own eyes in an attempt to finally end the curse once and for all.
But Buckwild 2: Not Like That Other Buckwild Where Someone Fucking Died Please Don't Hate Us Give Us Money Though never happened, as MTV halted Williams from trying to get the show on other networks. And while Williams was furious about being unable to continue the Buckwild legacy in the deranged fashion that he saw fit, I think we can rest with some ease in knowing that he was very, very alone in his righteous anger.