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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reality Television

Okay, I might as well get to it. Here it goes. Let's talk about reality TV.

Reality television is a modern phenomena. You take an ostensibly unscripted group of people doing something and film it. Different from the documentary show, reality TV seeks to show us something unique while maintaining a sense of, well, reality. It can range from the average (Pawn Stars) to the bizarre (The Colony) to the exotic (Dual Survival). Some critics say that the rise of reality TV has been a significant blow to scripted television shows, and that reality TV is little more than cheap network fodder in place of people working hard to make entertaining television. There's also the issues with the "reality" of reality TV. Amish Mafia anyone? I for one feel that while these complaints have merit, reality television does have its place in the entertainment world.

There are dozens if not hundreds of reality TV shows out there, but I've never reviewed one on this blog. I've watched plenty of reality TV, but for some reason I don't review them. Maybe it's because reality television doesn't have quite the same requirements as a scripted television show. Scripted television is a conventional story, and it requires to be critiqued its characters, plot, acting, whether or not it's particularly compelling, and other factors which determine its quality. Reality TV only has to be compelling and believable to succeed. Half the time, it doesn't even have to be the latter.

Here are some reality TV shows that I feel are among the better ones out there. Note that the majority of them are from the Discovery Channel:

1.) Mythbusters - Special effects experts Jamie Hydeman and Adam Savage test out various myths, urban legends, etc., with the help of Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.
2.) Dual Survival - Survival experts Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury demonstrate survival techniques in various locales.
3.) Human Weapon - MMA fighter Jason Chambers and former boxer and NFL player Bill Duff travel the world examining different fighting styles.
4.) Sons of Guns - The staff at Red Jacket, a gun store in Louisiana, make and sell unique guns. What more could you possibly want?
5.) Pawn Stars - The staff at Gold and Silver Pawn, a pawn shop in Las Vegas, buy old junk. What more could you possibly want?
6.) Wheel of Fortune - Ah, I love me some wheel. Basically an elaborate form of Hangman, three contestants spin the wheel to determine how much money they get when they guess a letter correctly, taking turns. Hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White!