Fifteen years ago, if you’d told someone that you can get famous from social media, they would have laughed.
In modern popular culture, celebrities no longer hold the torch for being the “most talented” or “most skilled.” Instead, the torch has been passed down to social media stars like Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, who have changed society’s definition of “most influential” to mean whoever holds the highest number of followers on their social media account. But is the title well deserved?
Now, those girls from TikTok are trying to become “those girls from TV” in their new reality series, “The D’Amelio Show.” The show provides insight into how the two sisters and their parents navigate Hollywood and their sudden TikTok fame while trying to keep their mental health in check and live somewhat normal lives. It’s like a drama-free, kid-friendly version of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” but without any remarkable moments or quotable catchphrases.
The series is the ultimate pity party — Dixie constantly bombards the audience with her sad tale of dealing with depression from being in the spotlight and Charli’s struggles with social anxiety. The show might have been able to attract audience empathy for Charli and Dixie if it dove deep into their old life back in Connecticut. Rather, it plops us right into their Los Angeles lifestyles with little context. While their struggles with mental illness are completely valid, the show is treated as one big therapy session for the sisters and a bizarre spectacle for audiences to gawk at.
Granted, it’s great that the show sheds light on mental health and the importance of learning how to persevere in the face of fame or other more relatable hardships. However, it’s hard to ignore the idea that Charli and Dixie portray a lack of gratitude for the life that they have because of their constant dissatisfaction with how people view them. The sisters fail to acknowledge their privilege so much that it drowns out the show’s objective of educating people about mental illness.
The show definitely forces you to forge sympathy in an unnatural way and almost seems like it was created to force haters to change their minds. If anything, the series is a great example of showing that no matter what position you hold in life, not everyone is going to be a fan of what you do, and that’s OK. It allows for further discussion on the notion of negativity bias that we as humans often manifest ourselves.
This idea, that we allow ourselves to feel the sting and rebuttal of negativity more than the joy that is presented to us, is heavily illustrated all throughout this series. For the sisters to constantly put emphasis on the few bad apples out of many supporters seems to be a way to figuratively portray a matter of life and death because their career relies on the number of supporters they have and their relevancy.
Acting as a wannabe version of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” because of its family-dynamic theme, “The D’Amelio Show” is simply useless to the reality television sphere. There are far more entertaining subjects to watch instead of these two sisters with bland personalities who basically shove their fame down viewers’ throats, while crying about how no one likes them at the same time.
If you’re a fan of reality TV, sorry. “The D’Amelio Show” is simply not it.
Daily Arts Writer Jessica Curney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.