Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reality TV? It has its purpose.

It's been a wild week and I don't just mean the weather. Seems like every time I turn on the news this week there's been something bad to hear ... but it hasn't just been bad, it's been devastating news. The Boston Marathon bombings on Monday and this morning there was the fertilizer plant that exploded in Waco, TX. Crazy stuff. The kind of stuff that changes peoples lives in the blink of an eye. Watching a news report on TV is Reality TV in its purist form. But is all Reality TV bad? I don't think so. Let's take a minute and break it down.
When I think of the first Reality TV I watched it was probably Survivor. The first few seasons I was hooked, but then I missed a few seasons, and then I came back. At the time it seemed like Survivor's main competitor was The Amazing Race (which I can't say I ever watched, but know many people who were devoted fans.) Most Reality TV shows seem to have a main competitor. Let's see if I'm right ...
Survivor vs. Amazing Race ... American Idol vs. The Voice ...  Dancing With The Stars vs. So You Think You Can Dance (expect they don't usually run at the same time, which is nice).
Then there are a barrage of Food Network shows that are available at ANY time for your viewing pleasure: Chopped (one of my favorites), Diners Drive-Ins & Dives, Worst Cooks in America, Restaurant Impossible, Cupcake Wars, etc. etc.
One could say that reality shows are nothing new if you think back to This Old House, Trading Spaces, or Julia Child. Those are shows that were ahead of their time.
It's just my opinion, but reality shows can serve a purpose. Perhaps we feel we can relate to them more because the hosts or contestants aren't actors - they're regular people like you and me. But then there are the reality shows that are nothing more than video diaries (sort of a TV version of a gossip magazine). I know there must be people who watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo because I still see them advertised, but I just don't get those types of shows.
For me, some reality shows are like reading a book ... for the amount of time that I'm watching the show I get to escape into the other characters. For that 60 minutes I get to turn by brain off, quit making schedules, quit paying bills, and quit making plans. It's a win-win for me.

So what's your favorite Reality TV show? Duck Dynasty? Say Yes To The Dress? Biggest Loser? Which show draws you in and helps you to escape the realities of your life?