I’m not opposed to celebrity reality shows as a rule. It’s my view that the value of these shows in an educational and entertaining level relies largely on whether or not the subjects are willing to be themselves. It’s easy to tell the difference between the reality TV star who’s fully aware of the cameras at all times and putting on a show, from the one who lets go and take advantage of the situation, not by trying to manipulate the viewers into seeing the story they want told, but by being themselves and letting the story tell itself.

Reality TV is voluntary. I’m of the mindset that celebrities deserve as much privacy as anyone else. However, if they’re going to invite cameras into their homes and lives, I say, keep it real. Case in point. Denise Richards’ reality show It’s Complicated had a sort of staged feel to it. Granted, I only watched one or two episodes, but from what I did see, I felt sure she was acutely aware of the cameras at all times. Not knowing Ms. Richards’ personally, I couldn’t say whether or not we were seeing the “real” her, but the show itself was hard to watch. On the flip side, I actually became more of a fan of Tori Spelling after watching Tori & Dean: Inn Love/Home Sweet Hollywood because she always came across as very open to the whole experience. She let the world see her for better or worse, not playing up moments, nor trying to hide her insecurities or natural reactions from the cameras.

This warts-and-all approach may serve T.I. well as he embarks on his own reality TV venture. The artist has had a few scuffles with the law, the last of which landed him an eleven month prison sentence. According to Deadline, the recently released rapper has locked in a deal with VH1 for a 10-episode reality series. The show doesn’t have a title yet, but it does have a premiere date. Fans can look for it on VH1 on December 5th.

This show could be a great opportunity for T.I. to reintroduce himself to his fans as he works on his new album and adjusts to life on the outside. The decision to do a reality show shows that he’s willing to put himself out there, at the very least. The focus of the series and how much of his life he’s willing to share with viewers remains to be seen.

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