Thursday, November 29, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

I love reality TV. Not the crappy "I Love New York" or "Big Brother" or shows like those. But the bulk of my TV watching has turned into reality show series. My absolute favorite is "Project Runway" on Bravo, but I also enjoy "Top Chef," "Ace of Cakes" (OK - almost anything on the Food Network), "American Idol," "Extreme Home Makeover," "Amazing Race," "Survivor," "Real World/ Road Rules Challenges," and my newest show, "Kid Nation."

I don't know what to say. I love "Kid Nation." Of all the reality shows I listed, maybe three warrant me not missing them. Most are ones I'll tune into if I can. But each week I come back to KN and find myself enjoying the kids triumphs and feeling sad when they cry over missing their parents. I love seeing the kids get the gold star and then having the opportunity to call their parents and tell them they just won a star worth $20,000. I enjoyed seeing them get somewhat grubby looking after a few weeks in Bonanza City. I love seeing them give each other another chance after someone has done something wrong or mean. I can't help but pull for them to win the reward for the town even after one team inevitably comes in last place and has to be the laborers, but still rejoices in the reward the whole town will get. I just plain like the show.

I don't know why I feel guilty. I mean, there is a lot of crap on TV today, yet I feel like I have to hide my devotion to reality shows. I think it is because everywhere I look, there are people saying how bad reality TV is and how it has taken away our creativity. Yet, I have a hard time finding a family friendly sitcom (or drama, for that matter) that I can sit down with my kids and feel safe to watch without worrying about coarse language, rude and sarcastic tones, and overt sexual innuendo. At least if I turn on "Dancing With The Stars" the worst my kids will be subjected to is skimpy dresses.

And I also read all the reviews of KN, including all of the controversy surrounding whether these kids were "abused" or not. The only one I found intelligent was the one about editing of a reality series in which certain people are made to look like a certain part, the villain or hero for example. It said that these kids may not understand how the editing of a series can change the way people see them, and that some of the kids may regret participating if they are portrayed in a less than positive light. I have also read the numerous reviews by people who simply find the show boring.

All of these things make me feel guilty for liking this show. But I do like it. And I'll keep watching it until the end.

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