John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane
jkahane

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Reality Show Guilty Pleasures

I have to admit that, like everyone out there who has a television set, I have watched a few reality tv shows on and off over the years. I started, like most, with Survivor, and while I watched the first and second seasons, I didn't watch any more of that particular series, for reasons that aren't easy to define. Several dozen reality shows have come and gone since that first season of Survivor, and I've watched the first three or so episodes of several other reality shows, primarily to see what they're all about and whether they appeal to me.

There are so many different types of reality shows out there. I mean, there are reality shows about surviving in a given environment, there are reality shows about becoming a model or a singer or a rock star, there are reality shows about living in a house with a set type of housemates or house guests or whatever one wants to call them. There are the ones about being apprenticed to Donald Trump or Martha Stewart (heaven help the winner of that one!), there are the ones about House/Family/Lifestyle make-overs, there are the ones about the best chefs in the world, or finding the right chef to run your new restaurant in Las Vegas, and...well, the list goes on. I don't know what the world population's obsession with reality shows is, nor do I understand it, but I have to say that I'm hooked on a couple of these reality shows, myself. *sigh*

That said, not all reality tv series appeal to me. The three reality series I have been hooked on since the beginning happen to be Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars, and Rock Star. I know, I know, I was even surprised myself by the first one, and the appeal to me of the third is something that seemed only natural, given the fact that music is a strong influence on my life.

The appeal of Big Brother to me has always been that the people in the Big Brother house, while having to go through the various tasks and trials set them by Big Brother, are still *human*. They have their strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and quirks, yet the personas that they manifest in the BB House may well differ from their "real" selves outside the house. The environment of the House itself, limited as it is, provides an almost personality in and of itself, and when it comes right down to it limits the actions in the BB House but forces the various house guests to deal with every personality conflict, every aspect of each other's behaviour in a timely fashion.

Dancing with the Stars is, for all intents and purposes, the one that I find the hardest to explain in terms of its appeal to me. While I love ballroom dancing and the like, it was never my forté. I did all right on the dance floor during the disco era, but, when it comes right down to it, I find dance to be wonderfully exhilarating to watch. The fact that the series combines teams of a celebrity who may or may not have dance experience and practice in their lives with an actual dancer (and teacher) makes it all the more interesting to me. When it comes down to it, it is just fun and enjoyable to watch!

On the other hand, Rock Star (first with INXS, and now with Supernova), offers a totally different, very emotional, somewhat visceral, experience. The primary appeal for me had to be the fact that I always wanted to be a rock star myself. Brooke Burke, the series hostess, and her right-hand man, Dave Navarro, provided some excellent commentary on the performances of the would-be rock stars in the first season, and this trend appears to be continuing into the second season, although I find Dave Navarro to be somewhat one-dimensional this year in that his comments appear to be very similar for the most part. The other appeal to me of Rock Star is that unlike American Idol and its imitators, all of the would-be rockers in Rock Star are established rock 'n rollers who want to take the next step up to real superstardom.

So there you have it, confession of my reality series guilty pleasures on television. I freely admit that Reality TV is not to everyone's taste, and while it seems to be in decline somewhat, the trend is still alive and well out there in boob tube-land.

Anyone want to offer their thoughts on Reality TV shows, and even comment on what they'll watch and not watch in this regard? I promise I won't hold it against you, if you don't hold my guilty pleasures in this regard against me. :)
Tags: dancing with the stars, hobby, reality tv, television, tv hut
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