Capt. Phil Harris (1956-2010)

First of all, I would like to wish my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Capt. Phil Harris. I have enjoyed the Deadliest Catch for a few years now. I admired Phil’s heart and his dedication. Though I never knew him personally, I was inspired by the whole featured fleet on Deadliest Catch, and he is without a doubt, one of its reasons for success.

His passing brings up some interesting questions and harsh realities.

Death is a part of reality. I’ve been to between 5-10 funerals in my lifetime. Like it or not, it’s a part of “reality.” If we want “reality” television, this is something that we need to be ready for. As it appears that reality television is not just a fad (more than 20 seasons of Survivor, 9 seasons of American Idol and way too many seasons of Dancing With the Stars than I could ever care about), we are going to find these people more entrenched in our daily lives.

So we want our reality television. Like it or not, this is part of reality. Capt. Phil went before his time. So did Jade from British Big Brother, and Anna Nicole, her son Daniel and Billy Mays. But there will be many people who will go when it is their rightful time: Cloris Leachman (who was part of the greatest season of Dancing With the Stars, just because she was on it), Jerry MacDonald from “Big Brother”, Rudy Boesch from the first “Survivor.” These people will pass on and our hearts will break when they pass on. The unfortunate thing about reality television is that we will have to take reality with all its ugly blemishes. You want reality, be ready for the not-so-pleasant.

I cannot say enough times how great and tasteful Discovery did with Capt. Phil’s actual passing. They showed him in some situations where he looked really bad, but his actual passing was never shown on camera. As much as I trust Discovery Channel, I wonder where it stops… There are many television companies that I know would go too far. I mean, MTV had man-on-woman violence against Snookie. VH-1 has given us “Celebrity Rehab.” Fox gave us “Joe Millionaire.” Discovery did it right, but I’m sure that someday, somebody may not do it right.

Again, God bless Phil Harris and his family. And welcome to this new, unfortunate chapter in Reality.

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