Do They Have Talent? Well, no.

I remember the first time I watched Reality TV. It was the first season of Survivor, the season in which Richard Hatch, the notoriously nude and class-A conniver, won the million dollar prize.

I was sucked into the season, mostly because, at the time, reality TV seemed so strange. Since there wasn’t a script and everything was “unedited,” you felt as if you were getting a sneak peek into the lives of strangers. This is exciting for someone who enjoys people watching as much as I do. I also remember wondering if, since it was unscripted, they were ever going to “accidentally” reveal anything that shouldn’t be seen of Richard’s.

Clearly, there was never a Janet Jackson Superbowl moment to be seen.

Since then, I have stopped watching Survivor. However, I have added many other shows to my Reality TV repertoire over the past decade. As I write this post, I’m sucked into an episode of Giuliana and Bill. For many, these names mean nothing. However, for some like me, it is easier to recall the short bios of these people than it is to remember absolutely anything about the Alamo.

[Bill Rancic was the winner of the first season of The Apprentice. Giuliana is the co-anchor at E! News. The pair has a TV show which chronicles their lives in Chicago and Los Angeles].

The thing is: I wish I didn’t like Reality TV. There really is no reason to see Giuliana attempt to change a diaper for the first time. There is no lasting benefit to watching The Bachelor find love in “the most dramatic rose ceremony ever” (and subsequently lose that love nearly the minute the finale episode airs). There is certainly some shame in watching Kim Kardashian have her butt examined by a plastic surgeon to prove that it is “real.”

I don’t really watch a ton of TV, but my DVR does make watching “Reality” shows way too simple. Certainly a much easier time than Giuliana had with the diaper changing.

Do you still watch Reality TV? Do I need to do a Reality TV detox? 



One thought on “Do They Have Talent? Well, no.

  1. Yeah. One of my “dirty pleasures.” I agree that for those of us who are people-watchers by nature, it’s the equivalent of a gory auto accident…you are positively ashamed that you want to watch, but you just can’t help yourself. I think as journalists, we’re even more drawn to this. It borders on fiction (how can we call these people “real”?), and, yet, we have this tiny part of us that sees just a little bit of ourselves in them and their lives–or at least we’d like to, sometimes. Don’t apologize! You’re going through an experience similar to what I encountered with one of my broadcasting profs at Wartburg who constantly ridiculed me for watching soaps, game shows and other drivel on TV…one day, finally exasperated with him, I dressed him down and said I thought it rather hypocritical that an educator whose field was “communications” only permitted himself to indulge in public TV and NPR. He left me alone from that day on. I was feisty, even then! We’re going to get along famously. I can tell…

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