M. Giant's
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Monday, March 10, 2008  

Reality Check

I'm not an anti-reality-show snob, but there aren't a lot of them that I like. I've figured out a key predictor as to whether I will like a reality show. It's this simple question:

Can I see myself doing this?

As a result, I like very few reality shows, because so many of them seem to revolve around things I can't ever see myself doing.

For instance, I can't imagine competing against twelve to twenty other people for one person's love, which carves a big subgenre out of the running right there. Maybe it's because I've been married for so long, or simply because I have a shred of dignity, but I can't picture myself going on anything from The Bachelorette to that Tila Tequila show. Okay, Flavor of Love, maybe. Maybe. Tell me you wouldn't hit that Flav.

Same with any show that expects you to eat gross stuff. I have a hair-trigger gag reflex that prevents me from eating things that are actually good for me, let alone maggot-infested live squid heads. So much for Survivor and Fear Factor.

But it also applies to shows in which the competitors have some skill I actually respect, if it's something I'd never be able to do. I'm not saying "understand," mind you, I'm saying "respect." I follow Project Runway just closely enough to be able to imitate Santino imitating Tim Gunn (you know, like everyone else in the world), but I accidentally caught the last five minutes of this season's finale and Christian's clothes just looked to me like the wardrobe of a Much Ado About Nothing remake directed by Prince. I said that to Trash and she said she thought that joke was "fierce." I was like, "Why are you quoting Tyra?" Which is a whole other thing I'll never get into.

I did get into Rock Star when I was recapping it, because I have sung lead with a rock band, albeit only a few songs per gig (vocally, I was our band's George). We played to smaller audiences, but unlike the ones on Rock Star, none of them were paid to be there (other than in beer). And I used to like Trading Spaces, because, hey, I've been known to paint a room now and again. And I like camping and visiting New Mexico, so recapping Kid Nation wasn't the chore it could have been. Finally, despite my normal disinterest in competitive dating shows, I got hooked on one season of Average Joe, being a dorky guy with a hot wife and all.

And The Amazing Race? Don't even get me started. I've been lost everywhere.

Same rules apply to game shows. I could see getting into it with Anne Robinson, but the "no deal" part of Deal or No Deal for me would be pretending I had any idea what briefcases to choose. I'd just let Howie pick them for me until I get a six-figure offer I can accept. And if he refuses? I threaten to lick his head.

So where does that leave me in regard to my current gigs for TWoP? The ones that occupy four nights a week of my schedule? Well, let's just say I have trouble picturing myself kissing Donald Trump's ass, or choosing to be stuck in a house filled with cameras and assholes for three months. Which is why this is the first season I've ever actually watched either of those shows. They can pay me to watch them, but they can't pay me to like them.

Good thing I don't have to like them to write about them.

posted by M. Giant 8:14 PM 6 comments


Amen, brother. I have been almost completely weaned off TV by the writer's strike. I don't like most of the alleged-reality stuff, so TV really doesn't interest me much anymore. I will admit to a certain fascination with Ninja Warrior (aka Sasuke), however.

By Blogger Bunny, at March 11, 2008 at 4:40 AM  

I couldn't make it past the first two episodes of Celebrity Apprentice, but I do enjoy your recaps, M. Giant. Thanks for watching it for me, and making it many times more entertaining.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2008 at 6:32 AM  

Maybe that's why I have been digging "Celebrity Rehab" so intensely. Not because I loves me some whisky, but because I would seriously do an Addiction Medicine rotation in Pasadena with Dr. Drew. (If anybody knows how to set that up, holla back.)

And everybody knows (or should know) that George was the coolest, anyway.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at March 11, 2008 at 9:22 AM  

Being from Minnesota you should be able to get into "rockstar curling". You can even sign up for a tryout.

By Blogger JH, at March 11, 2008 at 9:52 AM  

Personally, I'd compete against twelve to twenty people for a really good sandwich. And what was so bad about Kid Nation? It was like Lord of the Flies, only with children.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2008 at 11:17 AM  

I can't watch these reality shows. I have a hard enough time watching the news.

By Blogger Creative-Type Dad, at March 13, 2008 at 11:18 PM  

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