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Sucked in to Reality

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I try to get out, but they keep dragging me back.

Reality shows, that is. I thought I’d talk a bit about the American phenomenon that has become quite the habit, and why I dislike them.

First off, let me say that there’s no way I could approach either the pro or con side of this argument objectively or unbiased (hmmm… or, Fair & Balanced for you Franken fans). For one reason, I (as someone who dabbles in filmmaking currently) have quite the use for good, fictional scripts. Second, because I find myself watching more reality TV than I’d care to admit. That’s right, I keep trying to get out, but they keep dragging me back in.

Why do I dislike reality shows, then, you may ask? Well, they’re really counterproductive to art, frankly. Television is pretty much the biggest commercial outlet for artists, in that it seems to me to be the only art that many Americans even see anymore. Of course this isn’t the preferable case, and I do realize how much movies are still a great money-maker, but by and large, I don’t really talk to a lot of Americans outside my own circle that support the arts that much. So to see the writers, actors, lighting and set designers (TV artists) stripped away from the one artistic venue most supported by the vast working-middle class makes me feel a little sad for the old art of story-telling. That’s not even mentioning the lowest-common-denominator aspect that so many of these shows provide as entertainment.

Now that I’ve gotten that rant off of my chest, allow me to divulge my most recent guilty pleasures.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

The few episodes I’ve seen of this show have definitely entertained me. A funny, fast-paced show, I love seeing what the ‘Fab 5’ does to a person’s life, it’s literally a complete 180. They are pretty damn funny while they’re doing it, too.

What I’d really love to see, though, is a recap. You can teach a man to fish, but is he really going to keep fishing? Luckily, I don’t have to worry about a long-term addiction to this show, as I don’t have cable, and its appearance on NBC has strictly been summer filler.

The Restaurant

I’m not entirely sure how I got hooked on this one, but it’s been fun as well. The restaurant business is inherently dramatic, and it’s been great to watch ‘Rocco’s’ develop. It helps, too, when there are a lot of problems for the editors to play with.

The season finale is actually this week, so this could be the last we see of Rocco’s. The producers still haven’t decided whether to follow Rocco’s or start trailing a whole new upstart. I’m on the edge of my seat, aren’t you?


What can I say, I love bizarre humor, I love spoofs, and I love audience interactivity. This one was bound to be a hit with me.

So yeah, I guess you can all call me a hypocrite now. I’m trying to quit, I swear!!!

also posted at Mars Life

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About Mars Sanford

  • Some reality TV has been worthwhile like the first season of The Osbournes, Joe Millionaire (how on earth are they going to pull off JM 2?) and one or two others. As far as game shows American Idol is pretty good but don’t get me started on how much American Juniors sucked.

  • Eric Olsen

    I was totally absorbed by American Idol this season, but that’s it so far, and what probably really appealed to me was the talent show aspect.

  • Eric – What did you think about Frenchy Davis being cut? She had one of the best voices and I think she could have made it to at least the final four.

  • Eric Olsen

    She had a tremendous voice, loads of charisma and a sweet personality. I guess they were just covering their posteriors by canning her. they immediately signed to a recording deal, though, so it’s not like she really lost out. She is more famous than anyone who appeared last season other than Ruben and Clay.

  • Eric Olsen

    I should say “has,” she isn’t dead or anything

  • TDavid,

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve watched my share… and felt unclean afterwards. JM was quite the show, and I couldn’t peel myself away.

    Currently there’s a show Fox is shrouding in secrecy that involves a girl picking from a bunch of guys, half of which are gay. The rumor mill is wondering if the secrecy is because the show is actually JM2. Of course, Fox won’t comment.