I know reality TV isn’t real; I’m not an idiot. If you watch the credits for reality shows you’ll see “writers,” which is your biggest clue. However, you won’t hear me complaining about reality TV–well, any more than any other TV genre. It’s summertime and this is when reality TV makes for new and cheap programming. Add that volume to a brand new baby that’s got to nurse every two hours, and my DVR is full of “reality.”
One of the reasons I think American Idol is so successful is that families can watch it together, the same with So You Think You Can Dance and Extreme Home Makeover. The kids and I like to watch the performers and “judge” them ourselves. My kids love Wipeout, which even I find mind-numbing. It’s hard to find shows that we can all watch. TV that is generally safe to watch with everyone, what a novel concept.
It’s no secret that on most reality shows the contestants are manipulated by producers to make good television. Those women on The Bachelor are shooting all night long, exhausted, placed into artificial situations and manipulated into becoming hysterical over some random guy; they don’t even pick their own dresses. But you’re still tuning in.
There are reality shows I can’t watch: the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo comes to mind. I’ve seen episodes, watched most of Beverly Hills, but I think the housewives are one rabbit hole I don’t dare fall into for fear of never climbing out. Survivor. Rock of Love. Jon and Kate and most of the TLC line up–do not get me started on A Baby Story.
There are reality shows I can’t miss, ever: Top Chef, Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, and The Amazing Race. My most recent acquisition is Pawn Stars, what a fun show!
So tell me, do you love reality TV? Hate it? Think it’s a phase? What are your shows?