A Reality-Show-Hater Is Converted (Well, Sort Of)

Free-For-All Friday: A Reality-Show-Hater Is Converted (Well, Sort Of)

I’ve spent the last six days being miserably sick.  I tried to do homework the first day and a half, but the letters on the page were squirming and wriggling and refusing to cooperate, and my head was floating up near the ceiling fan, so I finally gave up.  Instead, I did something I haven’t done in quite awhile.  In between bouts of fitful sleeping, tremendous headaches, and lots of pitiful self-indulging moaning and groaning, I watched a LOT of television.

I caught up on all the episodes of Rizzoli & Isles I’d missed since the semester started (fantastic season finale, by the way!).  Then I started to catch up on Alphas as well (I still need to see the most recent two episodes, but “Bill and Gary’s Excellent Adventure” was a GREAT episode — have I mentioned I love Ryan Cartwight?)  I watched a few movies.

And, SHOCKER: I finally found a reality/contestant show I can actually enjoy.

Now, I don’t begrudge people their guilty pleasures.  If you love Big Brother and Survivor or American Idol, all the more power to you.  But I simply cannot make myself watch them.  I’ve seen a few episodes here and there: my Dad and his family are Big Brother addicts, and I TRIED to give American Idol the benefit of the doubt… but, sorry.  No.  Stupid people doing really stupid things just doesn’t do it for me.  I thought American Idol might be worth watching because I LOVE music.  But here are my problems with that show: a) the producers insert a few morons in among the decent singers just to piss me off, I swear, b) it is TOO easy to fake being a good singer — auto-tuning and excuses about “personal style” just make it too easy, c) the viewers have a galling tendency to get rid of the only good singers and keep voting for the mediocre or down-right BAD, d) I’m not a huge fan of most contemporary popular styles anyway.  So, no, American Idol didn’t work out.

But while I was sick, I found myself stuck on the Ovation channel, watching five straight hours of, of all things, So You Think You Can Dance.  Yeah, the Dance version of American Idol.  Me.  Watching it.  And LOVING IT!  I think the end of the world must be imminent.

I watched re-runs of all the audition episodes and then the first “official” episode of season 7 (which originally aired in 2010 — and yes, I already know who won, but that’s okay).  I laid there on the sofa, embarrassed for myself, and glad that no one was around to see my corruption.  A reality show I actually LIKED!  I couldn’t be!  But here’s the thing.  It was really good!  And here’s why: a) the judges on this show weren’t all insane or bitchy like they are on American Idol (they were hard, and critical, but also sympathetic, and supportive), b) it is WAY HARDER (perhaps impossible) to fake being a good dancer, you either having the ability or you don’t, there’s no auto-tuning for dance moves, c) there was not a single idiot or joke or obvious producer-insert among the dancers d) THESE DANCERS ARE REALLY FUCKING GOOD, so even though the voting is still up to the public it’s a little harder for the public to vote for the mediocre idiot (’cause there isn’t one), and e) I don’t have to worry about hearing the winner (idiot or otherwise) on the radio non-stop for months and months afterward.

In other words: Congratulations So You Think You Can Dance! You’ve converted one of the biggest reality-show-haters in the business (at least for this one show)!  And that is an impressive feat!

(Note: It’s just a little after 11pm here in Houston, so it’s still Friday, so I’m not technically late! And I’m still sick, so I’m cutting myself some slack.)

4 thoughts on “A Reality-Show-Hater Is Converted (Well, Sort Of)

  1. I’m with ya in disliking most reality shows, but there are actually a few that I do like. I don’t know if they’re technically classified as reality shows though…I’d say more “slice of life” documentaries, haha. In other words, they ACTUALLY reflect reality :P. A short list includes: Hoarders, Obsessed, American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and probably my favorite, Dirty Jobs.

    Dancing with the stars is pretty entertaining. You’re right in that it does take a lot of skill to do it (I laughed at the no auto-tuning dance moves part by the way). It isn’t like Idol, where your voice could be the vocal equivalent of Elaine Bennis’ “full body dry heave” dance and you still win, haha.

    Dunno why they call them reality shows. The shows I mentioned reflect reality better. Most reality TV are just glorified game shows or half hour long Youtube videos 😛

    • Oh, I LOVE Dirty Jobs. I’ve never really thought of that as a reality show though. I mean, anything that has REAL people in it is in some sense a “reality” show if you want to argue semantics, but most of those Discovery Channel and Science Channel shows are more documentary style. I think of actually “reality shows” as those that include some element of competition, not just those that document some bit of life. But maybe that’s just me…

  2. So You Think You Can Dance is pretty awesome. Reality television is my guilty pleasure, but I never feel guilty about So You Think You Can Dance. That show with dancing with celebrities, on the other hand…ick!

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