Monday, January 19, 2009

I've fallen in love...with reality tv!

I have not been a huge tv watcher most of my life, just getting into it in the last few years. I like family programs, that is, shows depicting nice families. Little House on the Prairie and the Waltons reruns are tops.

I've written before about Touched by an Angel, and CSI Miami (CSI is getting too gory for me now.) Andy Griffith is great (but not Matlock). Anyway, I usually multi-task when I watch tv because I hate commercials. So I read, or type on my laptop or do the dishes or play with the cats, or all those at once. The best tv shows are ones where I can tune in and out and not think much or follow a storyline. In comes reality tv.

I said before that I enjoy the Home TV design shows. Decorating rooms is always fun, especially when it's other people's money. But this week all at once I watched Supernanny, Wife Swap and Top Chef. I learned these hav all been on for a few years now. In Supernany, a British nanny observes an American family in trouble and then tells them what they need to do to get control of the kids again. Wife Swap takes two wives holding diametrically opposed views (frugal vs. spendthrift) and plops them into each others' families for two weeks. And Top Chef is a bunch of cooking prima donnas vying to cook their way to top recognition.

Maybe it's because I enjoy watching real people more than fake ones, and no matter how hard a sitcom tries to look real, it never is. Viewing The Cosby Show reruns after all these years proves that. But seeing a real family really struggle with kids, now that I can get into. And though the chefs cook things I would never cook, the chefs' foibles and hopes are all to vulnerably apparent, which is another thing I can relate to.

The episode where the chefs were forced to use processed foods was hilarious, and the most interesting. It was only a short clip, a "Quickfire Challenge" in which they were unleashed into a regular person's pantry to make something tasty in only 15 minutes. The chefs sniffed and disparaged and hoity toitied their noses in the air. "Spam" they cried. "Velveeta!" they pouted. Where are the capers in Bearnaise sauce? I laughed and said to the tv, "Now you know how every mom in America has to cook!" By looking at a pantry knowing you only have a few minutes before the soccer game or the piano lesson...muttering, 'what can I make with Spam?' Actually that was the best dish, a chef made a soup out of Spam and crunch things you put on top of Asian rice dishes, but it went by too fast for me to catch the ingredients and they are not posted online. Figures, the ONE meal that a regular person would eat, they hide the recipe.

Oh well. As I grow older my tastes are changing. I read non-fiction mostly now. It's not a surprise that my viewing habits are also changing to match my reading habits. Real stuff. (as 'real' as television can be anyway, with cunning editing for better drama).

On march Supernanny, Wives who Swap, and Chefs! On Designers and House Hunters and Flippers and Cleaner uppers! You go Man vs. Wild and Survivorman! Stay safe Crab fishermen and Ice Road truckers. I have finally caught up. Reality tv is the best.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Wife Swap and SuperNanny are our family favorites. :)