Thursday, February 17, 2005

Lost in a sea of Reality TV

One man's view on life, love, law

Talking about whether or not Reality TV is good or bad for society is sooo five years ago, but here's my take on it. It's here to stay. Not only that, it's the best thing to happen to television in a long time.

As more and more of these shows continue to pop up on the prime-time radar, it is evident reality television is more than a trend. After all, top-rated shows like Friends and Sex and the City have wrapping up, most new sitcoms seem to disappear after a handful of episodes, and night after night, viewers can choose between a handful of reality shows, or one of any rerun sitcoms starring Ted Danson or Everybody Loves Raymond.

I heard an actress state that she hated reality television because it was taking work away from real actors. As one can imagine, any writer (especially writers), director, costume or set designer would probably have the same complaint.

Indeed, people aren’t turning on their televisions to watch dramatic performances. A witty dialogue or knockout piece of acting just don’t seem to hold the same popularity as they did a mere five years ago. Now, people are watching other people kissing in hot tubs, putting worms down their pants and shedding tears after being voted off the show.

What's good about that? Above all else, reality television is offering viewers a break from the scripted and performed. Watching real people compete and hold grudges and stoop to new lows is certainly different, and we often forget the absolutely horrible sitcoms that have come and gone. For every "Friends", "Cheers", or "Seinfeld", there were hundreds of BAD tv shows, which were often predictable.

In fact, I had sworn off any scripted shows, until I watched Lost ... and guess what? I got hooked. The show is really well written, and it's the puzzle solver in me that tries, with each week's new clue, to figure out the links, mysteries, connections, involved in the show. The various message boards that carry word puzzles with tantalizing clues or spoilers, also adds to the mystery.

If you haven't "Got Lost" ... check it out each Wednesday!


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