It's amazing to think that 10 years ago, no one had heard of reality tv. Now you can't escape it, and it's not going anywhere. I resisted the enticement until we had Abby--then there was a period of weeks that I was home all the time and in front of the television a LOT, and I got pulled in. The market is flooded with wannabe reality hits now, and I consider my standards pretty high. Now that we're thick in the season of the best, I thought I'd give a countdown of my favorites. (is it actually a count-up since I'm starting at #1? No matter.)
1. American Idol. A few reasons I think this is the best: it's based on actual talent, it involves the viewer through voting, and it captures the essence of the American dream: a nobody becoming THE somebody. When you watch the final 3 contestants meet swarms of screaming fans on their hometown visit, you realize how quickly fame can be achieved.
2. The Amazing Race. I love this show! The places the contestants get to go, and the things they have to do, are ingenious. They are challenged in every possible way. There are always bizarre personalities, but there are always people that you want to root for and wish you were BFF with, too. Plus I like trying to catch the host, Phil, slip a little of his New Zealand accent into certain words. Why does he try to hide that lovely sound?
3. Survivor. The daddy that started them all. The producers of this show are genius because 1) they have continually managed to keep the show new and different, so you never have the same game twice and 2) they have done whatever necessary to keep Jeff Probst on as host. That man IS Survivor, and if he ever leaves the show is doomed. He is funny and he tells it like it is, and if you have as many whiny idiots in one place as Survivor tends to, that's crucial. Anybody can be a polite host--I want clever.
4. Project Runway. This is the only non-network reality show that I watch, and I really don't know how I got sucked in. I just know that I love Heidi Klum, I love Tim Gunn, and I love being shocked at the absurd clothes these people create. Matt eventually got addicted with me despite himself, and I will never get tired of hearing him say something like, "Those ruffles just don't mesh with the overall look she was trying to achieve, and the fabric choice is all wrong." Nothing like a man unafraid of channeling his fashion sense.
5. The Bachelor. I know, I know, this one borders on sleazy. Well, it's really quite over the border. But still, it's silly fun, and every once in a while there are moments of sincerity that are worth the effort. Still, if the bachelor (or bachelorette) is a schmuck, I refuse to watch it.
I realize that there is an absence of any cooking, hairstyling, or drug rehab shows on here, and that is by choice. I have reached my limit. What about you? What do you think I got right? Wrong? Have a swayed you to watch anything new? Convinced you to throw out your television?