In writing to a fellow reality show fanatic, I realized just how much ‘Reality (??) TV’ I watch. In no particular order and not counting them all, I watch:
American Idol – AI
America’s Next Top Model – ANTM
Dancing with the Stars – DWTS
The Biggest Loser
So You Think You Can Dance – SYTYCD Canada
Canada’s Worst Handyman
The Bachelor/Bachelorette (I know; I hate myself, too)
And those are just the big ones. I also catch:
Ace of Cakes
Paris; My New BFF (Again, I know. It’s pathetic)
Ultimate Recipe Showdown
Wow. Just… wow.
And now for the justification part. I know much of this is a real as Dolly Parton’s Double DDs, but it makes for fascinating TV because the people are not as polished as real actors, and if you watch their faces you can often catch the subtle changes when they are deciding how to react to something. I can imagine them balancing their real emotions against how they’ll look on TV, besides acting out enough to be featured prominently. No one wants to watch reasonable people on ‘Reality TV’ and the editors know that. Act out, be outrageous, and you’ll get more air time. Thus, Coach on Survivor.
Does anyone really believe he is as self-deluded as he seems? Is that even possible? I think there’s a good chance Coach is a deliberately crafted persona, much like Richard Hatch on the first season. It’s part real, part assumed and completely brilliant. (BTW, For Jeff Probst’s take on this, read his blog!! Here: http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/05/jeff-probst-blo.html)
I find it interesting, too, to see the obvious choices the editors are making in crafting ‘storylines’ for these ‘real people’.
I’m not naive, I know that most of the folks on ‘Reality TV’ are there because they desperately want a career in television. They think someone will see their ‘work’ and pick them up.
This brings me to CSI Miami last week. First of all… bleh!! Who hired David Caruso? I had watched a few episodes of CSI New York replayed on the Action channel and Gary Sinise did such a great job as a chief detective that when I saw CSI Miami was doing an episode on a ‘Bachelor’ type show (they apparently got smashed in the ratings last year by The Bachelor; instead of doing a show as revenge they should have just fired Caruso and hired someone with at least an ounce of acting ability rather than one single expression… that of constipation). But if you watched the show they made great play of how the one girl was cynically there to get footage for an acting audition tape. I suppose lots of girls who go on The Bachelor do that, but how successful are they?
Which brings me to the rest of my ‘justification’ for watching reality TV. It’s funny! It’s TV for those who don’t want to watch ‘Professional Wrestling’, and it is probably just as real. But it is lovely ‘vacant mind’ TV, meaning, when my mind is tired from writing all day, it takes me away.
And that is it! I am a Reality TV Addict, and I’m not going to lie about it anymore!