Unfiltered Thoughts: Reality TV

Do people get paid to analyze tv? I mean, clearly, tv critics do, but there can’t be many openings in that field. I wonder because I devote a lot of thought and analysis to tv. The shows, the ads, the trends, they all fascinate me.

I find that as my days day off run few and far between, they descend into nothing more than sleep and lazing in front of the tv. I’ve been drained of the energy and ability to do much of anything besides watch tv and watch the clock turn to happy hour. It’s the escapism that tv offers — when I have so little time to relax and can’t get away, it helps transport me to somewhere else, even if just for a while. Maybe it’s the rum talking, but I don’t think tv is bad. I think bad tv is awesome.

Specifically bad reality tv. There is just something about watching the trainwreck of undeserving confidence propel tone deaf teens to trying out for American Idol or watching teams self-destruct and implode in front of millions on The Amazing Race. I like a lot about this sort of crap. It helps my too-tired-to-think self suppress my thinking, overanalytical, doubting self. I get wrapped up in looking at the background details — the marketing of a show, how the producers manipulate the contestants, or the various personalities that get cast as contestants, hosts, and judges. People say things like “It’s not real” with respect to reality tv. DUH! I never was under the impression that Laguna Beach was an unscripted snapshot of real teenage life or that the contestants on Project Runway don’t deliberately manufacture their personas to market themselves for viewer consumption. I watch it because it isn’t real, because I am fascinated by how these shows are cast, how the weekly contests are rigged to keep on talentless contestants simply because they provide high entertainment value.

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