When it comes to TV reality shows I...
Love some and hate others, like most folks. I do find I prefer ones that involve some sort of competition or knowledge, (Pawn Stars, Project Runway, Top Chef) versus ones that simply follow odd people around (Honey Boo-Boo or anything to do with anyone named Kardashian)
Even there I find exceptions though.
For example the kids and I love to watch America's Supernanny. We laugh at the clueless parents, and the obnoxious kids, my progeny being well aware that they would have been in time out for life before things got to this point.
The Boy is totally into the many reality shows around Doomsday preparations. Part of the reason is that after being in Scouts since he was 6 he figures he can survive on the contents of a backpack if needed.
The Girl's favorite train wreck show, on the other hand, is of course Dance Moms. The fact that we have never seen a dance teacher remotely like Abby Lee Miller is only part of the fascination. The endless backstabbing and sniping between the moms is fun too. When we really want to pick on the Girl we threaten to send her to Canton to study with Cathy at Candy Apples.
And there's something we find really entertaining about Storage Wars and Shipping Wars too. The best part is when the other characters snipe on camera about their fellow "stars".
We really like Pawn Stars and Auction Kings too. Both shows revolve around people with specialized knowledge of certain subjects, and with the values of obscure objects. We find this fascinating. We especially like it when we know more than the experts about something.
Then there are the food shows. When you get down to it, all food shows are reality shows to some extent. We used to watch every season of Top Chef but have kind of gotten away from it lately. Our favorite competition show now is America's Worst Chef. Picking on my cooking skills is a popular sport around our house (dad does most of the cooking, and with good reason), but the kids concede that I am too good for this show. One contestant last year made "vanilla chicken" which has become a byword in our house for the stupidest thing that can be done with 2 perfectly good ingredients. Our other favorite food show right now is Restaurant Impossible. No kitchen is so lost that Chef Robert can't fix it.
But my absolute favorite reality show (unless you want to count the Oscars, but that's a different post) is Project Runway. I have watched every season (though I take a pass on the All Star version because Project Runway without Tim and Heidi isn't Project Runway at all.) There are several reasons it stands out for me. There are several reasons for this. One is that it involves an actual creative act, the designing and construction of fashions. Over the course of the season a lot of really cool clothes get made. Second, as a theatre major I knew a lot of people like these contestants, and find myself nostalgic for that sort of flamboyant prima donna display. As everyone races about each week trying to finish up I am also reminded of those jam packed hours before performances, when we chased about in much the same way.
But in the end, I watch the show for Tim Gunn. He is such a rock bottom, practical, eye at the center of the hurricane. He gives such good advice to all the contestants, and woe betide the designer who
decides to follow their muse instead of his common sense. I would love to have Tim do an overhaul of my closet and dresser. He would be so kind, even as he cast his critical eye on my sense of fashion.
As a matter of fact, there is a brand new Runway waiting for me on the DVR when I get home tonight. Because making it work is where their reality and mine meet up.
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