Confessions of A Reality TV Junkie

I really would like to confess that I have all the major news programs recorded on my DVR.  I would love to say when I come home from a hard day’s work, after driving the kids to and fro, I settle down to a good Times magazine for intellectual stimulation.  It just simply wouldn’t be true.  I’m a Reality TV Junkie, and I have the overburdened DVR to prove it.

I don’t enjoy standard reality television – you won’t catch me watching Big Brother or Flavor of Love or anything in that genre.  Not that those aren’t entertaining, and I have many well educated and well rounded friends that are simply enthralled with these types of shows.  I guess my genre is more accurately described as Competitive Reality TV.  I’m unabashed in my devotion to Top Chef or Project Runway or American Idol or even The Next HGTV Star.  If there’s a group of similarly minded people with a specific talent, who will either be voted off by America or sent packing based on a group of “expert” judges – I’m there.

I’ve been thinking lately about why these shows appeal to me so much.  I can’t cook a decent meal to save my life, I don’t sew or paint, and I’m certainly not the next Kelly Clarkson.  Maybe it’s my lack of these skills that holds part of my fascination.  I’m amazed that there are people out there that can take newspaper and make a kicky little overcoat in one day or less.  I’m confounded that there’s a waitress on roller skates just waiting for Simon Cowell to discover her so she can make millions. 

I also like a good old fashioned competition.  If I’m playing a game, darn it, I want to win, and these people are exactly like me in that sense.  There’s a victor and a loser and it’s very defined and methodical.  Sometimes, when America gets to vote, things go a little array.  We are more likely to vote on personality or a good back story then to vote on talent.  We like having the power to frustrate Simon or Nigel. 

Mostly I think I just enjoy the beauty of the art.  My favorite part of the competition is not the back story or the work in progress, but the reveal at the end.  Show me the room, or the dress, or the dance or the song.  These people were given these gifts, and now they are sharing them with me.  It inspires me, and it motivates me to rediscover those parts of myself that make me special.

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