It’s a guilty pleasure, like wine and chocolate after 9pm, there’s certainly nothing highbrow about it, in fact some might say those who watch reality TV are scraping the intellectual bottom of the barrel, I plead guilty your honor.
Don’t judge me, as I’m not a Kardashian watching zombie, savvy business skills yes, level of fame earned, no. But, I do freely admit I’ve watched over the years my fair share of “non scripted” TV and actually enjoyed it. I did watch ‘Australian Idol’ when Kyle Sandilands was a judge, I did watch ‘So you think you can Dance’ and marveled at Mia Michaels, I did watch the first season of ‘MasterChef’ which always made me hungry.
Currently I confess the only Reality TV I watch these days is ‘Survivor’. It’s good, very good. Its much more than sunburned bodies on a beach, there’s intrigue, backstabbing and alliances that break apart. The bikinis don’t hurt either.
The reality TV format as we know it started with a Dutch show “Nummer 28” in the early 90’s, just like todays’ Big Brother the format revolved around strangers interacting whilst being filmed, riveting stuff. As with any TV format, ratings drive what happens next, meaning anything could be filmed, even Ozzy Osbourne shuffling and muttering around his mansion in ‘The Osbournes’.
In the US there is even a show called ‘Cheaters’ where hidden cameras are placed and the ‘Cheaters Detective Agency’ tries to catch your significant other in the act of ‘cheating’, cue big confrontation to wrap up the episode, crikey.
Heck, there’s even a British show called ‘The Undateables’ about people with disabilities going out on dates whilst being filmed; ‘sir, you have only one leg, you must be ‘undateable’ wanna be on our show’, hilarious. How about ‘Duck Dynasty’, a duck hunting themed show set in Louisiana, in 2013 its season 4 premiere drew 12 Million viewers, a US Cable TV record for ‘Reality TV’, that’s some popular ducks.
For a while, I did watch ‘The Amazing Race’ but found myself getting stressed out if my favorite team were close to coming last and getting eliminated. I’m still waiting for a network to run ‘The Real Housewives of Roselands’, now that’s something I’d watch.
Regardless, we all love our shows that challenge us, make us think, analyze and debate (that’s you Game of Thrones) but sometimes there is joy in just crashing on the couch and parking the brain in neutral, which is actually something I’m good at, thank you reality TV.