s 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
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
Subscribe to the Week