Reality Shows

Note to all TV snobs: this post contains material pertaining exclusively to reality shows. To protect your tender sensibilities, may I recommend that you click on your way, have a fantastic weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

Still here? Alright, here we go.

Last winter, I watched a lot of TV and movies. Most days, getting through the day exhausted me and I only had energy for passive entertainment. Which wasn’t all bad - there’s an awful lot of very good TV out there. And some of it is reality shows. As the TV snobs have left the building, I'm not going to bother even pretending to apologize for the fact that I like mindless entertainment every now and again. Where was I? This year, I have more energy and had to cut down on the amount off television I watch, in order to create room for writing, reading and socializing. I trimmed off a couple of dramas and prepared to hack away at the reality shows I used to watch. Except, I appear to have accidentally gotten sucked back into a couple I didn't bargain for.

1. American Idol. I honestly hadn't meant to watch this. Since it's on about 12 hours a week, not tuning in was an easy way of creating more time. And then I got sick and incapable of doing anything but sitting still and being entertained and then I... I tuned in. And I'm hooked. Easily the best season I've seen and I think it has something to do with the contestants being older. The older you are, the less likely you are to go on national TV and embarrass yourself with murdering some hapless song. The quality of contestants is better and Seacrest is much less annoying (although that shoe thing with Mandisa was a little pervy). I don't watch the usually boring results show and I'm having a blast. I have a bunch of favourites (Mandisa, Taylor and Chris are at the top and despite being out of his element, I think Bucky has a goofy charm) and people I can’t wait to see go (Paris and Kellie are both working the cute angle a little too hard and Ace hasn’t done a good song since Father Figure).

2. America's Next Top Model. As with the American Idol, I fully intended not to watch the show, which is at the pinnacle of my guilty pleasures (except I don't feel guilty about it). Again, I tuned in when I was sick and was hooked in about 2 seconds. I don't know what it is about that show, but it's a lot of fun. The one thing I don’t love about this season is how thin they all are. There’s the regular model underweight and then there’s “get this girl a sandwich, STAT!”.

3. The Amazing Race. After the disastrous Family Edition, I was very much looking forward to things going back to normal. Except, somehow I'm not watching. The one show I had planned to watch just sort of slid off the list. I keep hearing that it’s back to being great, keep intending to tune in, but somehow miss watching. Weird.

4. Survivor. The granddaddy of them all. There is no question: I will watch. Every season of Survivor, I try to figure out what attracts me so much to the show. Maybe it's that I've always had fantasies about doing a Robinson Crusoe thing, maybe it's got something to do with watching yet another group of strangers not know our start fire (don't any of them watch the show before they go on?). It very definitely has a lot to do with Jeff Probst. Not only is he adorable, but he's also the only host who gets cranky with contestants and regularly calls them on their crap. Love that.

What's your favorite reality show?