Dear Camille,

I almost forgot something I wanted to talk with you about. I remembered it as I was reading your latest blogs. You may not know much about these shows since you don’t watch TV and I don’t know much about them as I don’t watch these shows but what is it about Reality TV Shows?

What does reality have to do with people going to an island and eating bugs, did you have to eat bugs on Little Corn Island? What is reality about some rich peoples kids going to Steamboat and trying to work on a ranch?

Are people really that insane?

I haven’t watched these shows but some of the Moms at preschool were talking about the Steamboat one, only because one of them is from Steamboat and someone called her to tell her about it. Reality TV is a hit but it seems like such a misnomer, where is the reality? Gotta go Logan is up and my day has now started.

Love Sharyl

Fantasy TVDear Sharyl,

This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. To answer your question, the only bugs we ate on Little Corn Island were the ones we failed to wash out of the pasta.

You’re right – I don’t know much about this kind of show, having avoided television for the past 7 or 8 years. But common sense tells me that the name itself, “Reality TV” is an oxymoron because everybody knows there’s nothing real about TV.

So I looked it up in my trusty Wikipedia:
Reality television is a genre of television programming which generally is unscripted, documenting actual events over fiction, and featuring “ordinary” people over professional actors. Although the genre has been featured since the early years of television, the current explosion of popularity dates from circa 2000 (particularly from Survivor).

Critics of the genre have claimed that the term is a misnomer, as many reality TV shows put the participants in exotic locations and/or abnormal situations, thus not promoting a sense of “reality.” According to the Nielsen Media Research, reality shows account for about 56% of all of American TV shows (both in cable and broadcast), and also accounts to about 69% of all of the world TV shows (in cable and in broadcast).

I saw a few Websites dedicated to Reality TV. At Reality TV World I found this partial list of shows:
The Amazing Race American Idol America’s Next Top Model The Apprentice Average Joe The Bachelor The Bachelorette Battle Of The Network Reality Stars Being Bobby Brown Big Brother The Biggest Loser Brat Camp The Cut Dancing With The Stars Extreme Makeover Hell’s Kitchen I Want To Be A Hilton The Law Firm Meet Mister Mom Nanny 911 Project Runway Queer Eye The Real World Rock Star: INXS The Simple Life So You Think You Can Dance Starting Over Supernanny The Surreal Life Survivor Tommy Lee Goes To College Trading Spaces Trading Spouses Wife Swap

Wow! Wife Swap – really! It’s hard to believe (an a little sad) that TV viewers have devolved into TV voyeurs. So, yes Sharyl, apparently people ARE that insane!

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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