I have a confession to make. I've become obsessed with those reality slash competition shows that have started cropping up on every channel. I think it all began with the first season of Project Runway which I was able to avoid for awhile until Smarty Pants pulled me down into the bedazzled, fringed and marabou feathered mud. I was hooked. And when it was over I was set adrift in a sea of uninspiring television until I found some replacements.
Luckily, Project Runway has recently returned for another season...but in the meantime I've been hopelessly hooked by The Next Great Artist, Cupcake Wars, The Next Food Network Star, Design Star and my old favorite America's Next Top Model.
Maybe it's my creative side that's intrigued by watching someone else in the middle of a creative breakdown/fit. And that's really what all of these shows boil down to. Lets take someone talented in their own field, give them little to no materials to work with, give them some inspiration or parameter that they have to incorporate into whatever they're doing and then give them just enough time to get close to done but not quite finish whatever vision they finally come up with. It's a nightmare of phenomenal proportions that I seriously hope I never encounter. But it makes for dang good television.
Tension. Drama. Personality clashes. Emotional investment. It's interesting to watch their minds work, to see evidence of the creative process captured forever. And they come up with some crazy and inspiring stuff.
I've given myself a pass, telling myself that watching these shows is a character study for some book I'll write down the road. I'm not sure I could get away with putting the eccentricity I've seen on the page. So, do you have a guilty pleasure? Have you watched any of these shows?