Monday, January 31, 2011

Reality Television

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One look at the television listings and we can all see that Reality TV has taken over the airways.  Every network (broadcast and cable) has multiple shows based on "reality". 

There are shows to fulfill everyones' likes and dislikes, some controversial, some very entertaining and others that upon seeing the first episode one thinks "why did they think we would like this".  One thing for sure there are many water cooler discussions the day after an episode that everyone at work has watched.

I believe Reality TV has become every one's guilty pleasure.  And I will openly admit that I have my favorites that I don't miss an episode of, and some that I will not admit that are truly my guilty pleasures (come on, I know you have your secret favorites too).

I admit that many of my couch potato hours are spent watching one reality show or another.  I am especially addicted to the home design shows on HGTV.  I enjoy contestant type shows like Amazing Race, Biggest Loser, and the Apprentice (celebrity and regular), and I prefer them to the shows that depict celebrities in their everyday life.  In my opinion, the biggest problem with the celebrity reality shows is that they lack reality.  The dialogue seems completely scripted, even though they all claim that is how it all really went.

My personal favorite reality show is NBC's Biggest Loser.  I love watching the contestants fight their way to a slimmer versions of themselves.  I have watched since season one.  I can recall contestants from each of the seasons, who won, who was controversial, who I was glad to see go home and who I was happy to see lose all the weight they did.  I find that unlike other shows BL has been able to inspire its viewers to join in the weight loss craze and really get healthy.  Just as they inspire their contestants to "pay it forward" they inspire their viewers to get more involved in their communities.  With their "Pound for Pound" challenge they encourage others to lose weight while supporting their local food banks in providing for their communities.  I am not really sure of any other Reality TV show that has had this effect on its views (except maybe "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition".

If I ever had a chance to be on a show, I probably like to be on Amazing Race.  Even if I only made it through the first challenge or two, I know I would walk away having had an experience of a lifetime as even in the first few days the contestants see amazing places.

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