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Guilty Pleasures: Competitive Reality Shows

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 117

Remember the short-lived series called "Bridalplasty?" A large group of women competed for a bizarre prize: elective cosmetic surgery, along with a fairy-tale wedding. When I heard of the bride who planned on 15 surgeries, I knew this was not your ordinary show. If she wins, does she want these procedures all at the same time? Have any of these women (or rather, immature girls) researched the amount of pain in recovery? Of course, this doesn't differ much from Botox parties going on now. Ow. Not really interested, but there probably won't be too many Tupperware party invitations coming up. And there are the ladies' naughty parties, with various sex toys for experimentation and sale.

The first competitive reality show I encountered was "Survivor." Later, "Big Brother," "American Idol," "The Great Race," "Hell's Kitchen," "Master Chef," "Dancing With the Stars," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Project Runway," "America's Top Model," "She's Got The Look," "America's Got Talent," and "The Apprentice." These are in no particular order, and of course there are many more. (Don't fret because I forgot your favorite.)

At first I didn't understand. I hadn't yet watched "American Idol," but I thought, why isn't this just an entertainment show? What, there are judges? And people call in to vote and whittle down the number of singers in the competition? Even "Survivor" didn't rely on an audience vote. They went for a more cutthroat approach -- the loser was voted out by fellow contestants. And look at "Hell's Kitchen." I love it. The worse Gordon Ramsay treats the cooks, the better the audience likes it.

The participation of Joan Rivers a few years ago got me interested in "The Celebrity Apprentice." And she won. I found I liked the countdown, even though I had missed several seasons because I didn't want to watch Donald Trump. Turns out he's not a big part of the show. Just the beginning and the end. Does he have to have that scowl on his face to show us he's a tough guy? His son has that affectation too. Similarly to "Dancing With The Stars," the expression "celebrity" should be taken very lightly. You'll go through a few weeks of "who's that again?"

Don't you love the way participants just become best friends, especially in American Idol when they all live together in a dorm? They're all kissy-kissy when the loser has to leave, even though it improves their chances, and we know it.

TV goes in stages. Reality shows, lawyer shows, doctor shows, whodunits -- all the way back to westerns decades ago. So we might have to say goodbye to reality shows in a few years. All that's left will be the Kardashians.

Who says you have to be an expert in movies? Do you think you're watching the most popular TV shows? Is your favorite book the perfect one for the book club?

Who cares? We'll talk here about what's new or even vintage. Why not revisit a favorite movie? Or maybe you'll want to buy the DVD to enjoy over and over.

And it's fun to find rankings for movies, TV and books. Do you agree with number 1 or even number 50?

Is TV a vast wasteland, as it was called in the '50s? Maybe there are some winners out there. We'll also talk about the shows that were green-lighted. Are they worth your time?

What's the most talked-about book these days? Are you the first on your block to read it? Isn't that the best of cocktail party conversations? Or, if you're like me, you'll read a vintage favorite over and over.

Source: EzineArticles
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