Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reality... bad, good, better, or alright?

Reality TV is an interesting thing; it seems to have all started with the Survivor series premiering back in the good ol' year 2000. It was so new and exciting to almost everyone - my Dad who was working as Master of Control at our local television network thought it was crap, but my brothers and sisters and I couldn't stop watching it! It was one of the first continuous shows where we didn't want to miss a single episode. It was addictive.
However, I got to thinking after the third season of madness, especially when other reality shows like Big Brother or The Amazing Race (which is a better show in my opinion) came out, that reality TV wasn't a new thing. In all honesty, it had been around since Who Wants to be a Millionaire, or even further with Bob Barker's The Price is Right, or Wheel of Fortune, or even The Ed Sullivan Show. All are reality based for our entertainment; some are talkies, showcasing new talent, some are intense competitions, and most are real people losing their minds in front of a camera.
Now I'm not trying to criticize the genre - real people trying to be themselves on TV is fascinating. And I for one feel that we've come pretty far these days, and some proof of that are the simple shows I still enjoy away from the fictional palette. These include Man vs Food, Chopped, Wizard Wars, and my personal favorite, Face-Off .
What's fascinating about these particular shows is that some have nothing to do with money (Man vs. Food, obviously), and most have more to do with getting a career as a chef, magician, or Hollywood makeup artist. These people really showcase incredible talent, but more so hardworking skills (or just have lots of fun, like in Man vs Food). I guess its proof to me that TV can now help people understand that we don't simply win money or do things for money by back stabbing friends like in Survivor, or doing basically nothing like in other shows. It takes skill to survive on TV, and it all can still be fun.
So check 'em out - here's posters of some of my favorites mentioned:
    Chopped intertitle.png    


  1. Ian, I have to agree with you on the whole "reality" t.v. You definitely have to have great talent and skills in order to compete on most reality shows. I also think that one of the benefits of being chosen to participate in reality shows is the fact that even if you don't win, there is a chance that it will get your foot in the door from all of the viewers that watch. I had a friend who was a contestant on "So You Think You Can Dance." She didn't win, but the exposure on National Television got her a job with the show "Dancing With the Stars."

  2. Yeah, exactly! Being on the show, whether or not you lose or come close, is still an incredible opportunity for anyone - they get good attention no matter what. Thanks for your comment, Dana :-)