Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Reality is that you should be watching Reality TV!

The truth is I can’t fault you if you are disgusted by Reality-TV. There is plenty out there to be disgusted by. In a television market dominated by shows in which the objective seems to be either humiliation and embarrassment or depravity and deception, it’s not hard to see why so many people bemoan the status of the market’s newest golden children. I am constantly greeted by howls of derision when I try to bring the subject up. But what if there are good reality shows out there? What if, amongst the rubbish there are a few radiant gems that can either give your life some delicious diversion or even genuine uplift? Don’t believe me? If I could strap you into a chair and tape open your eyes and force you to watch Reality TV you did not want to watch (any Stanley Kubrick fans out there?!) the following two shows would be my choices.

The Race Is On!

If you have never given The Amazing Race a chance, now is the time. The two-time Emmy winner debuts its newest season this coming Tuesday.

11 teams of two circumnavigate the globe in a race for a million dollars. Each of the thirteen destinations is a surprise as are the choices of culturally-relevant tasks they must perform once they arrive. The last team to reach the designated pit-stop of that leg is generally eliminated.

One of the things that make The Amazing Race unique and spell-binding is its lack of politics. No one in this game votes another off. Here, only the strongest, quickest, or luckiest survive.

Are you tired of seeing the same-old-same-old scenery on Survivor? Every episode of The Amazing Race takes place in a different country. The contestants may find themselves in Siberia one episode and Venice the next. For those like Stephanie and I—cursed with a phenomenal wanderlust—the travel and panorama is breathtaking.

Psychologically, The Amazing Race is a complex and intimate look at how people react under pressure and exhaustion; how they handle this element of the game more often than not is the deciding factor in how far they progress.

No other show can get you to the edge of your seat faster and keep you there longer. No other show can make the space between weeks seem greater.

The Amazing Race is not only the best reality show on TV, it is one of the best shows on TV, period.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: The Amazing Race has been known to cause ulcers, nail-biting and nervous disorders in adults. A robust constitution is advised.

I Dare You Not To Cry!

Stephanie and I started watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition by accident and it has now become a staple of our Sunday evenings.

What makes Home Edition stand out among a glut of similarly themed shows? Because instead of going into the home of a family that is tired of looking at old furniture and carpet, the Extreme team targets those with genuine and profound physical needs.

Those treated with makeovers are in desperate need of them: a son in a wheelchair who can't get around his house; mold embedded in the walls is making a family seriously ill; after decades of never seeing him, a man finds his father living on the street but has no room for him in his house; a young girl cannot leave her home because she is allergic to the sun; a family of eleven who just lost their mother to cancer can no longer feasibly stay in their small, two-bedroom; a social worker who spends her life helping others comes home every night to a home falling apart around her; a deaf family with an autistic child has to find a way to proof their home against his frequent escapes…

There is always a sense of worthiness to the recipients. They actually deserve the makeovers they get. The changes the Extreme team undertakes do not simply make their lives easier, they radically change their lives for the better. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is a blessing to families every week and the raw emotion that wells up after doing good for another person is on the tear-stained faces of the team-members each episode…and on the faces of the viewers.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has been shown to make grown men weep. A sensitive heart is a viewing hazard—and an imperative.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I KNEW you were going to pick Home Edition. Lanny and I are ADDICTED to it and every Sunday night you will find us sitting on the couch with a box of kleenex in between and both of us pulling from the box.
And Amazing Race, need we say any more? Fabulous, fabulous, and I look for the time you and Stephanie appear as one of the eleven teams....
Would have posted with my user name but I have completly spaced my password, whatever. :)

10:54 AM  

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