Reality TV – the good, the bad and the unwatchable

By Erin ClarkeDance Moms - Photo Courtesy Lifetime

I love Reality TV; I guess I should say that I love competition Reality TV.  Give me a Top Chef, Survivor, The Voice or Big Brother season any day of the week and I will watch it.  I think that these shows display a lot of what people are capable of, the nature of humans in both the best of times and the most stressful of times and also that the promise of a large sum of money at the end can make people do crazy things they would never dream of doing in real life.

In the midst of the Reality TV take over, something happened…..the takeover had a takeover.  In the beginning it was all about the competition, like Survivor, the godfather of reality competition shows, but now there seems to be a new genre in reality TV which I have dubbed “Job shows” (I know, I know, not very creative but due to language restrictions I can’t use the description I would if I wasn’t in print).  In the beginning there was a little Discovery Channel show called “Dirty Jobs” that showed 2-3 jobs a show that needed to be done for the world to stay civilized and were the kind of jobs that most of us don’t really think about but are glad someone is doing them.   I have to say the amount of shows that have evolved from just that one show is staggering.

I don’t get it, I really don’t, even though I have a fascinating job as a Realtor, but I don’t want to watch other people be Realtors on TV.  I was always surprised when people assumed that I go home and snuggle in to watch some real estate shows, or a show about flipping real estate or buying it internationally.  In my joking way I always kind of made a joke that they don’t go home and watch shows about pipefitters or welders, because when you watch TV, in my opinion, it’s a wonderful way to escape….you can cook meth in Arizona with Walter and Jesse or escape to Charming and hang with Jax and Chibs on a gun run, that’s why I love TV, that’s why I’m an addict…..the nightly escape from the “real world”.

In this new breed of shows, the jobs as well as the people doing them are the stars, whether it is guys digging for gold or bounty hunters chasing down crooks, from pawn shops in Nevada to security guards in small towns and everything in between.  I feel like there is obviously an audience for these shows and have some friends with a serious Duck Dynasty addiction and maybe people who have watched a little too much Storage Wars, but that audience really doesn’t include me.

I wonder how long it will take before the squeeze is on because as you know reality shows are cheaper to make than pretty much anything on TV, but I don’t see the Duck dudes or the Dance Moms taking any kind of pay cut in the future so the genre could eventually be in trouble…..and then who will be on TV showing us how to be weird and odd…..oh yeah that’s right, the actors.  Do you watch these shows?  What do you think of them?  Am I totally off base?

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