I’ve been slowed down by a cold over the last few days. Slowed enough to give in to watching the type of tv I wouldn’t normally stream on my computer. Besides, my yoga teacher was recently talked into being on a reality tv show. It aired a couple of weeks ago and the class has been buzzing about it ever since.
Given that my will was already sapped, I hopped on over to the station’s on demand site and started watching. I’ve never watched a Reality Television series before. And with 2.5 hours of my life irretrievably lost, I know I will never watch another one.
I’ve heard plenty about the genre, but there is knowing something intellectually and then there’s watching it unfold in front of your eyes in all its gory detail. Shudder.
And of course it’s as staged as anything else out there to watch. Every episode is carefully crafted from set-up to editing. Including Reality Television employees in the Writers Guild of America, was one of the demands leading to the 2007-2008 Hollywood writer’s strike.
Now that I’ve witnessed one, I can see that Reality TV subscribe to the “conflict is what makes a good story” theory of writing. This show definitely went out of its way to breed hostility between its “contestants”. My friend, being a seasoned and dedicated yogini, did her best to stay positive and kind through all 5 episodes, but even she succumbed. I can only conclude that Reality TV’s raison d’etre is to bring out the worst in people.
It brought out the worst in me.
All the cattiness, all the back-stabbing, the two-facing, the shear mean-spiritedness that was so painstakingly caught on camera sucked me in. I became judgemental and catty. The couple that won, obviously didn’t deserve to win and I found myself going on about it for a couple of hours afterwards.
Stories are contagious.