Can the Recession Make Reality TV Even Worse?

Reality shows have always been cheap—wooden sets, woodener stars, bottom shelf booze—but now they're getting even cheaper. There's a recession on! One show is stooping to capitalize on the gloom. By firing people.

Yes! Fox, of course, has ordered episodes of a new show called Someone's Gotta Go, in which real-life coworkers compete, by reviewing each other's shitty work, to see who gets laid off. Fun part? The loser really gets laid off. So that's terrific.

But don't let this convince you, misguided trend reporter for the AP, that the recession really is hurting the quality of reality shows. That article's thesis is that, because the second season of Paris Hilton's romp in pink-food-coloring-dyed feces reality show is using an LA mansion that is half as expensive as the first season's house, all of reality television—usually so fancy!—has to tighten its studded belt and be crappy. Which may be sorta true, but really, the networks' attraction to reality television has always been that it's dirt cheap to produce (but can, if that particular brand of lightning strikes, be insanely profitable.) It's not like we've been driving a Mercedes and now have to settle for a Datsun. It's more like trading a Tercel for a Corolla.

So don't worry that your favorite reality shows are going to suddenly look dog and pony, their stars drunkenly milling about tiny mansions. Because they've already been dog and pony. They're just going to be even worse now. Happy Economy.