The reality of fame

Friday, October 29, 2010

While brainstorming costume ideas for the front of this week's SE Live, we also had to choose which ones to feature in the pictures.

We decided the female costume had to be Snooki. We couldn't pass up the opportunity. Snooki is one of eight 20something "guidos and guidettes" selected by MTV to be filmed sharing a beach house in New Jersey for summer vacation. She's up there with Lady Gaga for the 2010 most popular costume.

When I told the friend who so graciously lent me her Redhawks gear for our football player costume that our girl costume was Snooki from "Jersey Shore," she cringed. She asked me why we were giving her more credit. She pointed out that Snooki was yet another person famous just for being famous.

I agree. But she is famous for now, and Halloween is often about what's hot right now.

If she's like most of them, she'll fade away in a year or two, but a different network will always have a new Snooki with a new shtick.

Reality TV is a car wreck viewers can't turn away from. The "stars" that emerge from the wreckage careen into other things again and again until they run out of gas.

They are one-hit wonders of the TV age. They had one, maybe two, interesting shows or incidences and are now public figures. These reality stars, though, have learned something from their radio predecessors. Now, when a young reality star gets a bit of fame, they use it.

They may not think about what their children will think down the road, but they definitely think about what their fans think right now, and they capitalize on it, negotiating spin offs, book deals, clothing lines and product endorsements.

These characters will live of the fame as long as they can and fade away eventually. Until then, though, we have to get our shots in while the star is hot.

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