I have had one general rule for television for as long as I can remember: I don’t “do” reality television. After watching the threshhold of watchable television get violated by the likes of VH1 (Surreal Life and all spinoffs thereof), NBC (Biggest Loser, Fear Factor), Fox (pretty much everything they’ve done), and MTV (Osbournes, Newlyweds, Super Sweet 16, anything involving Real World or Road Rules), I could only take so much. And besides: what about these shows are truly ‘reality’, in any sense of the word? Flava Flav having to narrow down 25 catfighting women to one he wants to date isn’t reality. A guy pretending to be a millionaire isn’t reality. Reality TV such as this thrives on heavily edited conflict and personality clashes. It just isn’t my thing.
But like all rules, there eventually comes a conflict. And so when I’m randomly surfing past GSN and I happen on a reality show that doesn’t annoy me, and in fact compels me to keep watching, I’m immediately stuck in a dilemma:
Can a reality show that is largely just a competition, with only a small amount of personality clashes, win me over? Which will win, the side of me that hates reality TV, or the side of me that loves game shows and competition?
The show won. I swallowed my pride and began watching The Amazing Race.
And today, one thing became painfully clear: when I get into a show, I go all-out.
Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no hiding – I’m going to TARCon9. (And so is Katie.)
Anyone else want to go?