Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reality Bites

I really, really hate “reality” TV.

Reality shows dominate the airwaves, but I’m not a fan. I like fiction. I like shows that have been written by people with talent, are acted by people with talent, professionally produced… You know, television. Entertainment. I’ll admit that I watch some weird stuff – I’m a big fan of crime shows – but reality TV scares me and upsets me more than a Criminal Minds marathon ever could. (And Criminal Minds often leaves me sleeping with the lights on.)

So, shows I hate…

Hoarders: Hoarders have a sickness and this show exploits them. Aside from the car-wreck fascination or the feeling of superiority that my house isn’t that bad, I don’t see the value of the show. I have a problem with exploitation for entertainment purposes. I dislike the concept of Storage Wars for this reason as well. These storage sheds are being auctioned because the renters quit making payments. These people have fallen on hard times and now they’re losing the things they wanted to keep. Televising it is exploitation of someone’s misery and that’s wrong.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette and any of the 37 spin-off dating shows they spawned: I don’t believe for a second that the participants are looking for love. They’re looking for fame. But pitting people against each other to win the “love” of another makes me a little ill.

I reserve special hate for pretty much every reality show where people are pitted against each other and the producers encourage bad or extreme behavior for ratings. (Jersey Shore, Survivor, Big Brother, Real Housewives, etc.) I will however, watch competition shows (okay, one -- So You Think You Can Dance) where skill is prized.

Any show where celebrities are doing anything other than their jobs: (Dancing With the Stars, Celebrity Apprentice, etc.) These folks are good at their jobs; they’re not very good at other people’s jobs. It's just painful to watch.

Shows where people are doing their jobs: Shipping Wars, Swamp Loggers, Pawn Stars. Really? Why? As I’ve said before, ninety percent of everyone’s job is really boring. Why is this television? And the ones where they’re doing something dangerous – like Ice Road Truckers – make me want to scream at the TV. If it’s so freaking dangerous, why are you talking to a camera while you do it?

Toddlers and Tiaras/Dance Moms/etc.: These shows are worse than reality shows like Survivor, Big Brother, etc, because the children are being manipulated by their parents and the parents are setting the worst example. And by watching, we’re rewarding and encouraging that behavior.

I know that reality shows are popular – they wouldn’t have so many of them on the air if they weren’t -- but I just don’t get the attraction. So are you a reality TV fan? Which shows? Why?



Smarty Pants said...

I'm in the talent bucket. I watch Project Runway and America's Next Top Model. Last season, I got hooked into the Glee Project, too. I want to see people beat crazy odds with skills, not manipulation tactics. I hate that. I did like Beauty & the Geek a couple years back where they tried to teach geeks social skills and beauties some book smarts. It was interesting, despite how irritated I would get by the beautys' stupidity, sometimes.

I despise the Bachelors, although I'll admit I did watch a season or two of Bret Michael's Rock of Love because it knew it was a joke. A bunch of tattooed, pierced skanks fighting for Bret's "love."

I curse the Writer's Strike that caused all this. If they'd only known that their holdout would virtually eliminate the need for them for a decade...

Instigator said...

I like the talent shows the best...but I'll admit to watching Storage Wars and the Bachelor on occasion. And I do love me some Survivor. My favorite was Take the Money and Run though (which doesn't seem to be on anymore).


Playground Monitor said...

I used to be a Survivor fan but then they had Russell-the-jerk-from-hell on for a second time and I quit cold turkey. And I watched a season or two of Toddlers and Tiaras because I needed something that would make my life look normal in comparison. I watched one season of The Bachelor when the woman from Huntsville was on, and that was a season too much.

I don't watch Dancing with the Stars as faithfully as I used to. Yeah, Kenny Mayne and Tucker Carlson were painful. But it was fun to watch Neicy Nash navigate the dance floor and become pretty decent at it.

And y'all know about my recent brush with RuPaul's Drag Race. I don't get the channel it is on, so I'm done with it til another season hits Netflix -- if I decide to keep Netflix.

I'm a crime drama girl too. My Wednesday night DVR schedule is brutal -- Criminal Minds, CSI, Harry's Law and Law & Order: SVU. Add in Castle, The Closer, Rizzoli and Isles, Body of Proof and Bones, and it's a wonder I sleep at night.

Jean Hovey said...

No. None. I once got caught up with Amish in the City, because I love the Amish. From watching a random episode here and there, I see why people get drawn in, but I am not a fan.

PM's Mother said...

I like to watch old movies--thank you Turner Movie Channel!

Virginia said...

I hate reality shows and the only one I watch is American Idol, that's it. I watch it because there is nothing else on at the time but enjoy watching new talent.

Sheryl M said...

I DESPISE them! I agree, what ever happened to *real* television? I love me some NCIS and NCIS LA...and oddly, I enjoyed the Good Wife(although I have yet to see it this season). I really need some time to sit and watch Once Upon a Time from the beginning, but other than that, I get stuck on shows like Property Virgins, House Hunters, and unfortunately, whatever channel my kids are watching!

robertsonreads said...

Yes, I watch some of the reality shows. Housewives, Jersey Shore, Storage Wars, First 48 Hours(I believe this is considered a reality show), Trutvs. I don't watch Batchelor, American Idol, So you think you can dance.

I do love some of the movie channels, A&E,Trutv, ID, and recently I have started watching Criminal Minds.

Angel said...

We do watch Storage Wars, and I watch some of Dancing with the Stars with Drama Queen. Otherwise, I pretty much despise reality tv. Besides, I don't need anything else to get hooked on.