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February 8th, 2007

The Reality Show Bar

I watch a good amount of TV, and used to watch a lot more (thanks, internets.) But reality shows… man, they’re often hard for me to stomach.

I’ve realized in the past couple of years that my wife and I have different standards when it comes to reality shows. I can understand her point: sometimes you just want to totally turn off your brain and not think, and there are a lot of reality shows that do this well. But there are a few shows that she watches that I just can’t even consider sitting through. Not because I’m all uppity-smythe, but because I just start thinking, “Shouldn’t I do something like clean the bathroom?” …and when a show makes you want to clean the bathroom, it might not be great.

So, I will watch the American Idol auditions and a lot of the shows on TLC. But, I’ve never seen an episode of The Surreal Life, Hogan Knows Best, or any of the reality stuff on VH1. I don’t have much of an interest in celebrity lives (Breaking Bonnaduce, Life with Ed, et al) so almost all of that is below my reality show bar. Makeover shows are okay in small or medium doses.

I think I hit the bar soundly when we decided to try watching Man vs. Wild. The premise is: we drop a guy off in potentially deadly environments (rainforest, desert, Wal-Mart) and see if he survives. Of course he will… but the whole thing was rather awful to watch. 10 minutes later, I was scrubbing the tub. (My wife chose to watch Gilmore Girls. Smart move.)

What shows are at or below your reality show bar?

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Greg February 8, 2007, 4:34 pm

I thought you were talking about your next business venture. Open a bar that has a ton of TVs showing nothing but reality shows. This way, couples and friends can come to your bar and you don’t have to fight over which gripping show you’ll watch all while in a friendly, social setting. You could get contestants from the shows to stop in from time to time. You could even set up the bar to be as unrealistic as the reality show sets with different rooms. If you have a kitchen-themed room in your bar, you know where I’ll be. You could even have a bathroom themed room where you can go clean the tub if you don’t want to watch any of the shows.

Ryan February 8, 2007, 4:45 pm

I always said that Wife Swap/Trading Spouses was below me.

But then my mother-in-law visited and we watched Wife Swap together and I got hooked. Yes, I’m embarassed. It’s an awful, awful show and every episode is “the mom that’s too restrictive with her kids swapping with the mom that lets her kids run wild,” but I still end up watching it more frequently than I should.

And my IQ drops to that of a brain-dead fly by the time I’m done.

Steve A February 8, 2007, 6:44 pm

I absolutely HATE reality shows. WTF?? Y’want reality??? Step outside the house for a few minutes.

To me, reality shows are the true dumbing down of America.

Argh! They pi55 me off!


jk February 9, 2007, 4:09 am

After the season finale of “So You Think You Can Dance”, my life became very dark and sad. In fact, someone wants to create a show about my sadness.

Terry M. February 10, 2007, 12:15 am

Sweet Super Sixteen. Whenever I feel my life has hit rock bottom it is always comforting to know that some soon-to-be 16 year uber-rich girl in Connecticut has it even worse off than me: her biggest worry in life is her big gift will be an Acura coupe (horror of horrors!) instead of the BMW wagon. Seriously .. why this show is even produced makes no sense to me, especially on a supposedly “socially conscious” network.

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