Sunday, January 10, 2010

Guilty Pleasure # ? - Reality TV

My reality tv experience began long long ago with inception of reality tv. Way back in the day (1996 maybe), I lived with a couple friends in a cute duplex in Madrona. Through no efforts of our own (we think the downstairs neighbor was responsible) we discovered at one point that we had cable. And with cable came MTV and with MTV came The Real World. And with TRW came my realization that I have no control of myself when it comes to reality tv. It sucks me in, holds me in its grip, and spits me out like little else in life. I have no idea which installment of TRW I got attached to, but I was a goner. When that show was on I didn't want to make plans, I didn't want to answer the phone, I was busy.

In 1997 (I think, or 1998 I can never remember) I bought a house and left the tv and cable behind. My new house was on the bottom of a big hill and there was no tv reception without cable. I decided my life would be greatly enhanced without either. For 7 or 8 years I was tv free. (This should not be confused with a change to enlightenment and the pursuit of philosophic adventures. Please see guilty pleasure blog about murder mysteries to see where my brain turned). Then I moved to Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill did not have the cute little video store that allowed dogs and served popcorn and as a result I turned to Netflix. AND, re found tv. First through Netflix and then finally on demand, streamed through the web.

I stayed off reality tv for a while. Then, at one point, I watched a couple of the final episodes of The Bachelor. This led to further seasons of the Bachelor and recently The Biggest Loser. These shows are like a car crash. You don't want to watch. Watching them is painful. But you can't turn away. The Bachelor for some reason always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside (am I really admitting this), but at the same time it's so annoying. There is nothing real about it. And by this I don't mean that it's scripted, but most of the people on it aren't there to find love. They are there to make some sort of a name for themselves. Also, it's completely trite and cliche. The main characters are interviewed over and over again, and after an episode or two, they are just rehashing. And I can't stay away. Why?? The Biggest Loser is intriguing, both because I don't understand how someone can get to be 400 pounds and because these people are completely rethinking their lives. But it's redundant - well they both are. In both these shows they show the same snippets over and over and over. Each show is 90 minutes, yet new content is probably close to 45 minutes. The rest of the time they are recapping or showing us what's going to happen in the future. It's painful. Why is it that I get so sucked into these things? Maybe it's because reality takes you out of your own life and your own issues and sticks you into someone else. Your life looks better because you're not the mess these people are. Or maybe it's because these people change? They lose 200 pounds. Or they fall 'madly in love' (maybe). So, it allows you to believe it can happen to you too?

So now, my dilemma and what will hopefully cure me of my reality obsessing for at least a season. TB and TBL just started new seasons simultaneous. So, if I were to tune in, by Wednesday I would have 180 minutes of reality tv to watch during the rest of the week. And so far, I have not been able to chose one or the other or stomach the possibility of filling my brain with that much crap. We'll see how I do in the next 10 weeks!

Post mark: Acckk. I was just surfing the web looking for pictures to attach to this blog and I am starting to feel the pull. Must step away from the computer, sorry for the lack of photos!

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