Reality TV at Its Best

         What would be better than to turn on your television on any given weeknight and see the new reality TV series called Wuthering Heights? It seems that today's America is addicted to these tales of twisted reality. These TV shows somehow manage to lure in viewers every week to see whom Trista from the popular reality show The Bachelorette will eliminate that week.

         It is seems that, no matter how hard we try, we seem to pull ourselves away from our televisions when these shows come on the screen. I cannot deny the fact that I watch about two to three of these silly shows every week. The 1847 novel Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Brontë, would be a perfect plot for one of these realities TV shows. Since William Wyler has already made Wuthering Heights a movie in 1939, it gives us hope for a syndicated season of Catherine and Heathcliff's twisted tale of love.

         From the very beginning of the novel and the movie Wuthering Heights, we can see how dysfunctional these characters really were. As Catherine (Sarita Wooten) and Hindley (Douglas Scott) are outside playing one afternoon their father (Cecil Kellaway) brings home a little boy with dirty clothes and hair (Rex Downing). Mr. Earnshaw names this orphan Heathcliff, and there begins the saga. Heathcliff grows up with the children as a brother. Hindley is very mean to Heathcliff because Mr. Earnshaw pays more attention to Heathcliff then he does to Hindley. Little do we know that when Heathcliff gets older, as played by Laurence Olivier) he will get his revenge on Hindley (depicted by Hugh Williams).

         As Catherine (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff get older, they start to have feelings for one another as most adolescents do. One can understand this very clearly in the novel because it explains how Heathcliff's love for Catherine is undying. Catherine soon discovers that, in order to have a luxurious lifestyle, she will not be able to marry Heathcliff. Despite her strong love for him she knows that he turned into their servant when the children's father died. Heathcliff could not provide for Catherine what Edgar Linton (a nearby wealthy neighbor) (David Niven) could provide for her. This is the origin of the entire plot of the TV show.

         After Catherine marries Edgar, Heathcliff becomes enraged and disappears for a long time. I cannot understand why Catherine denied her love for Heathcliff and ended up marrying Linton instead. I know that she wanted more money and a more luxurious lifestyle; but, if it meant being with the one that you loved, then luxury does not seem worth it to me. The only thing that Heathcliff wanted in his life was Catherine. She just never seemed to come through for him.

         The reality series moves on as Heathcliff returns to Wuthering Heights a very wealthy man. No one knows where the money came from, but everyone is curious. No matter how hard she tries, Catherine is madly in love with Heathcliff. She thinks about him all the time even though she is still married to Linton. The television audience wants to see Catherine and Heathcliff get together. Both of them love each other to no end. It would be a great twist to the television show because viewers love to watch other people have chaos.

         Another element that would make for an interesting plot would be the number of people that die in both the book and the movie. Every couple of weeks on the show the video makers could have someone dying of a strange illness or starving him or herself to death. I am not saying that death is good to have in television shows, but it would keep the plot interesting.

         We would definitely have to use the book's ending to use in our reality television series. In the book Brontë describes the ways in which Hareton, Linton, and young Cathy grow up together. In the movie one barely sees these children interacting with each other.

         If you read the latest issues of People and other Hollywood magazines, you will see how popular these reality television shows have become to America. People cannot go from night to night without seeing what happens that week. Next time you want to watch a reality television show with a twist, just try to picture Catherine and Heathcliff starring in their own reality series.

Katie Konrad

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