Diaries Magazine

Reflections of Reality TV

Posted on the 13 March 2012 by M0derngirl @M0DDERNGIRL
Reflections of Reality TV
I recognize reality TV for the addictive guilty pleasure that is. I try not to stoop to it's level - I've never watched Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, Hoarders, Storage Wars, Toddlers & Tiaras, The Bachelor, Wife Swap, or anything centered around a celebrity in love.
Ok, I watched the first 3 seasons of Survivor, the first season of the Apprentice (but I strongly dislike Trump). I've sat through rounds of American Idol and "The Voice" and America's Next Top Model even though I knew it was sending me to karmic hell.
But in terms of reality TV that I stand by and enjoy, there's few. Does Mythbusters count? My biggest guilty pleasure is Big Brother. I know it's all about gossip, but it's also about paranoid psychoanalyzing and social hierarchies and I love watching it to analyze the players. Yes, I know the producers are likely whispering in their ears, and it's excessively catty, but I love the twists and the social dynamics.
I'm currently completely addicted to The Amazing Race. I never watched a season before last fall - when Ethan Zohn was on it. Ethan Zohn was the winner of Survivor 3 (and I had a teenage crush on him). And then he got eliminated in the second episode. But I was hooked. I love traveling, I love the idea of seeing the world. And the show seemed classier and less garbage-y than most reality TV shows (probably why it has won so many Emmys).
I watched all of season 19 and thoroughly enjoyed the surfer/snowboarder dudes (Andy & Tommy), who were so upbeat and happy. It was really enjoyable entertainment.
Season 20 just started a few weeks ago. After rooting for Andy & Tommy so much in season 19, I was anxious to see who my "favorite" of this season would be. I knew my least favorites would be Brendan & Rachel from Big Brother, because they do not belong on TV and they are exactly what I hate about reality TV.
But in terms of my favorites, there were several candidates. Vanessa & Ralph were hilarious like to antagonize Rachel, and the "Mississippi Girls" are spunky and upbeat.
But the Kentucky Boys have stolen the lead by a long shot. Here's there team "promo-clip"

Now, I know people have used the "sick child" story to make profit and earn fame. And I know that reality TV producers can spin and create a good "other side of the tracks" story. I think in the first or second leg of the race Mark mentioned he was a police officer - which likely makes a decent income.
Even if part of their story is spun or fabricated, I am a complete fan of these guys. I will not spoil the episodes you have missed so far but, these two have conquered any task related to working with your hands, building, constructing, etc. And they are so naive about certain concepts that Bopper makes hilarious one-liners that crack me up. And they just seem so "genuine" and goodhearted, it's really hard not to like them.
But also, I see a part of myself in them. They have rural accents that help me escape the world of fair-trade-shade-grown-latte's that the hipsters sip as they play on their iphones. I guess the rural and undereducated have become exotic to me. Or reassuring like hearing a song or memory from your childhood. When I see Bopper & Mark, I see my past. And I want to identify with that past.
So in this instance, I'm not using reality TV to watch people who are strange, or different, or a freakshow. I'm watching reality TV to connect with myself, and my memories, and my comfort zone.
And so, I am completely rooting for Bopper & Mark. And last night's episode was completely gut-wrenching. I won't spoil it, but you really should catch up now. If they make it any further, I might need to blog about them in more detail.

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