My sister Kerry posted today about reality TV—and the two shows she’s hooked on at the moment—So You Think You Can Dance and The Bachelorette. Read her post here. I must admit I watch the same two…and I also like American Idol, the Biggest Loser and The Amazing Race when they are on. There have also been some non-competitive reality shows that fill our tube now and again…some Jon and Kate (although I can’t watch this anymore…due to the fact that I want them to tell the cameras to go away and focus on their marriage and family before it all falls apart in front of America…but that is another story), some Little People, Big World; Supernanny; and What Not to Wear--to name a few.
What is the draw? Why do I like these shows? I wonder if I am just a product of my culture—that somehow I have been made to like these shows. I’ve been courted and teased and have become the typical american viewer. the end. I’d like to think it’s more than that…but it’s probably not. Regardless, I’d like to pretend there is more, and mention some reasons I find these shows so appealing.
1) First of all, with the obvious exception of the bachelorette, these shows fit into a hard-to come-by “my kids can watch it and even like it despite the lack of Disney channel stars and Dave and I are even a bit interested in it” category. Something we can all watch together. Something that actually can lead to discussions about behavior and attitudes as we see both good and bad examples on the screen. This is our family TV these days, for better or worse.
2) I also think I like rooting for someone…the one I think deserves the honor of “winning” the show, or triumphing over a situation in their lives. It isn’t always the one that is the obvious favorite, but usually one that is in the background at first and slowly grows on me. Let’s just say I was a Kris fan more than an Adam fan. I am one of those. And every now and then I have the satisfaction of seeing “my person” do well, or reach their goal or dream. Like Kris. (Still happy about that one.)
3) When it comes to the non-competitive shows…I think they tap into some sort of socially acceptable form of voyeurism. that sounds creepy, but admit it…we get to be in other people’s business and apparently it is OK with them. I also think I enjoy seeing how they handle challenges I don’t have, like having tons of kids or being a little person. It’s interesting. I wonder if I would handle things the way they do. And I like to see if their houses get messy too. And if I’m a better decorator. Just sayin.
4) I also like a happy ending. When the proposal is made, the recording deal guaranteed, the makeover revealed, the new skinny person punching through the paper fat “before” mural. It’s a feel-good moment. Totally worth the hours invested in cheering these people on through my TV. I honestly feel so happy for these people. By that point I feel like I know them somehow. I find myself caring for them…even though that is kinda weird. They don’t know me. But I know which ones I would hang with. We’d be close. I’m sure.
5) I also secretly envy the hosts. I mean, what a job. all the perks without having to actually be talented. I mean, talking? I can do that.
6) And, last, but certainly not least, I watch because "this week will be the most dramatic rose ceremony YET!” and you can't miss that! hook. line. sinker.
(And can we give three cheers to whoever invented the DVR? Cause I love that I don't have to stay home to catch the shows I like...and I don't have to miss any either. It's a beautiful example of time management, don'tcha think?)
So, without giving it too much thought…these are some reasons I watch these shows. Got some reasons of your own? Come on…you know you watch 'em.