Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Guilty Pleasure

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?



Playground Monitor said...

I watch Survivor, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. And that's enough to keep my DVR full and my butt in front of the TV too much. I watched one season of The Bachelor when the girl from Huntsville was on it. We'd gone to church with her parents and I was curious. She ended up going pretty far and after I'd invested that much time in the show, I watched to the conclusion. It ended up being the time the guy proposed to one girl and then broke up with her the next night on national TV. I think she's had the last laugh though.

I will admit my guilty pleasure is Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC. I don't know why I watch this train wreck -- maybe so it will make my life seem more normal?

Problem Child said...

I'm still a SYTYCD fan, but other than that, no. I had no idea most of those shows you listed even existed.

Although, one year I got trapped by "An American Princess" marathon. Supposedly teaching a bunch of American girls how to act like "royalty." Lots of etiquette training!

I also watched a marathon of "Dance Your Ass Off" while stripping wallpaper. I got quite involved with the stories...

Instigator said...

I am still a SYTYCD fan but...I wasn't a fan of the all stars thing they did this season which kind of ruined it for me. I do have several favorites from this season (and 3 of them were in the final) but I don't think the good dancers had enough time to grow into the show (and I'm wondering if that's a factor in all the injuries this season...). We had no cannon fodder to kick off the first few weeks while everyone found their feet.

And, yes, they always get you with their personal stories. Get me emotionally invested and I'll pick up the dang phone to vote for you. Sigh.


Angel said...

I'm just not much of a reality show fan. Too real for me. :) I prefer fiction. I even have to leave the room if hubby starts watching American Idol. Can't stand it.

Oh, wait. There is one show we've started watching, though it isn't a competition in the sense that the shows you mentioned are. We watch WipeOut! Contestants have to run obstacle courses and beat each other out for $50,000. Hilarious! And we can watch it with our kids (who also find it funny) without having to worry about what they are seeing and hearing. Totally fun!


gigi said...

As for a competition show I watch Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay. I watched his show on the BBC before he started the one on Fox.

I love to watch Gene Simmons Family Jewels on A&E.
Of late I have gotten hooked on THE Choir on BBC America and if Dr. Who is on the tube we are watching it.

PM's Mother said...

There is no reality in reality TV shows!

Word verification "antso" -- reality shows ant so.

Jean Hovey said...

I don't really watch so much reality TV--though I'm not above it by any means. I did watch Amish in the City a few years ago.

I have no guilty pleasures because I decided to cut guilt out of my life. Something had to go.

robertsonreads said...

Yes, of course. My guilty pleasures are The first 48 hours, TruTV, The housewives of OC, NY, NJ, Atlanta, still holding reservations on DC. Gene Simmons Family Jewels.

word verification: disses - she disses on him very well

Katherine Bone said...

That's really funny, Jean! :)

I like SYTYCD and was happy with the results tonight. I also like AI, but I'm not one to sit for long with the other shows, except for DWTS.

Not much keeps my interest these days except for Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and maybe Haven, though I tend to miss that one because I forget it's on Fridays. LOL!