A reality show you'll never see - Jason Smith

I've said for a long time that I have very little use for reality television.

I've never watched a complete episode of "Survivor," or "American Idol." The only reality show I have even had a passing interest in, over the years, is "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and that's because of the inspiring stories it often tells.

I was talking to a friend recently about my disdain for reality shows -- the ones with young, pretty people trying to live together, celebrities of the past trying to recapture their fame, or dysfunctional families struggling not to kill each other. Suddenly, I was reminded of something I said several years ago: "Reality television" is the biggest misnomer to ever hit the entertainment world.

Aside from the fact that very few people are completely real when a camera is on them, the main thing that bothers me about reality TV is that most of the stories it promotes, bear very little resemblance to any reality I recognize.

I have never understood why the powers that be, in the entertainment world, are convinced America wants to know all the sordid details about people with the last name Hilton or Kardashian.

As I continued chatting back and forth with my friend -- we were having one of those deep, philosophical discussions you can only have on Facebook -- a thought came to my head which I haven't been able to shake.

What if my life were a reality show?

I'm not just talking about giving people a glimpse into the life of a newspaper reporter, although I'm sure that would be interesting to some viewers. I'm talking about following a real person, not a celebrity, around with a camera to learn about his struggles, hopes and joys, and how he deals with the trials of everyday life.

In my particular case, I'm sure that certain aspects of my life would be different from anything one might see on television. For one thing, I have two deaf parents which, in itself, is a lifestyle Hollywood largely hasn't tapped into.

I go to church every Sunday, where I teach Sunday School with my wife, and am trying to be more active with various ministries. My wife and I have our financial struggles, others can relate to, but we also have hopes and dreams for the future, which I think viewers could identify with as well.

I'm close with my family, with a relatively small amount of baggage, and I relish any opportunity I can spend with them. I guess most Hollywood producers don't see such things as marketable for the general public.

I'm just one example, of course, but something tells me I'm not the only regular person with a story to tell. Sadly, though, I fear we viewers will continue to be subjected to more of the same for some time to come -- that is, unless we as viewers demand better.

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.