Secret Pleasures #24: Reality TV

9 Jul

I am a television addict. 

I will watch just about anything and my favorite shows are all vastly different from each other.  But, this post isn’t about TV in general (I could rant about that for ages) it is about the entertainment of reality TV.

My first taste of Reality TV goes back to the first season of Survivor.  The contestants were real people doing fantastic things.  Then came The Amazing Race.  I might not be able to live on an island for 30 days but I could certainly race around the world.  It would be such a rush. 

And don’t forget about Say Yes to the Dress!  TLC is like a drug in my college suite.  No one can resist the power of fashion, gypsies, or polygamists. 

And History Chanel reality shows!  First off, I don’t think reality shows should be on the History Chanel.  I wish they’d go back to their documentaries and etc.  Nonetheless, Pawn Stars and Storage Wars are so exciting!  The creators deserve a gold star!

My summer reality TV addictions: America’s Got Talent and The Glee Project.  I’ve ragged on Glee a lot before because I find the show unrealistic and corny, but I do like the music.  Thus, The Glee Project retains the musical edge but has real (though highly edited) people competing for their dreams.  There’s something about people reaching for and achieving their dreams that makes me happy.

Besides dreams and money, reality TV shows the ability of man.  How far will someone push themselves to accomplish a goal?  How does someone act under pressure?  How do people manipulate each other? I love it! I love it! I love it! 

Reality TV is like people-watching in extreme.  It’s super voyeuristic, but completely acceptable.  People sign up for others to watch them.   We psychoanalyze, we judge, and we criticize.  We, the viewers, are given permission to do what we are discouraged from doing in real life.  That’s why I love reality TV. 

Now, reality TV isn’t always good.  Want to feel depressed and rot your brain?  Then watch Teen Mom.  Nothing exciting ever happens.  The mom cries and the dad leaves her.  I could get a crappy camera and follow some people around and get almost the same results.  Reality TV isn’t just about videotaping random people.  There has to be a good idea, a good frame work for the show, and a REALLY good editing team.  Only then will you get good (and respectable) results.

My Secret Pleasure: Being encouraged to watch and judge others.

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