As soon as Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston announced their engagement on the cover of Us Weekly, they began pitching a reality-TV show documenting their renewed relationship. Welcome to the age of trash expediency, says Joanna Weiss in The Boston Globe: "It was once an accepted fact that tabloids existed to knock celebrities off their pedestals. Now, a whole subset of 'entertainers' are busily knocking themselves down in desperate bids for exposure." After all, passé matrimonial goals like being "loving and upstanding" don't "make for scintillating TV." (Just ask Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt.) In this context, the Palin-Johnston reunion is a perfectly calculated stunt to grab attention from TV producers who are always looking to reward "bad behavior." Here, an excerpt:
The Us Weekly story does read like a treatment for a series — they could call it 'Alaska Later!’' — accompanied by a photo spread in which Palin appears to be wearing a toga. Johnston, having matured past his jock phase and his Playgirl model phase, now sports responsible-guy oxford shirts and an arm tattoo of his last name, which presumably comes in handy when he’s writing checks....
To last in the reality world — and delay having actual jobs for as long as possible – the Johnstons will have to fight, stumble, lapse, relapse, and generally find reasons to make Us Weekly interested again.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- What could happen if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- 10 things you need to know today: November 21, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week