I hate reality shows – hate ’em hate ’em hate ’em – and as the grandaddy of them all The Real World holds a special, contrived, insipid, banal place in my heart. Now the production company behind TRW, Road Rules and Making the Band – particularly loathsome all – is getting a crack at syndicated broadcast TV with Starting Over:
- “Starting Over” will involve a group of six women who occupy a house together while each of them sets out to make a fresh start in life under the ever-present camera. One woman, for instance, may be seeking to leave behind an abusive home, another may hope to get the high school diploma or other educational achievements that she failed to garner in the past.
Those who achieve success will move into their new, improved lives. Those who fail face the heartbreak of returning to their old way of life. As the women move out of the house, they are replaced by other participants. NBC Enterprises is understood to have committed to producing an initial 39 weeks of the series.
Said senior industry analyst Bill Carroll, vp/director of programming at Katz Television in New York: “This is the first reality show on this scale to come into syndication, and I would say that it is inevitable given the success of reality in primetime. This seems to take the elements of a daytime talk show and implement them in a reality environment.”
However, proving that I recognize different shades of blackness, I will note that at least this show is set up around the premise of the participants bettering themselves, to be measured by reaching specific goals. Therefore, the participants of the show might a) live better lives as a result of the show, and b) be more likely to achieve their goals due to the “supportive” and competitive environment.
If we must have “reality,” then let’s at least leave the participants better off than where we found them. Though the concept is relatively noble I’m sure the show will still suck nosehairs, but that’s a given.