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Idiot box Part2: unreal reality shows :p

Yeah, I seem to be revisiting some of my older topics... bear with me... This entry is a rant against those unreal reality shows on the air...

My first exposure to this so-called "reality tv" was "Survivor"... and even then I really was never bothered with it. Why on earth would I want to see how different people schemed against each other, put themselves thru stupid tests, essentially whore themsleves on tv, all for some money? Granted, the money was substantial, but hey, I didn't relate to it at all... but I know of at least one person in KL who refused to go out on Friday nights because that was when Survivor was shown on Malaysian TV.

Things really took off from there, didnt they? By the time I left Malaysia, Fear Factor and various mutations of American Idol had the nation in their brain-mushifying grip...

Then I get to the u.s. and see even more of this crap on tv! Let me get one thing straight tho: Most of my exposure to these are thru the previews/trailers ... I certainly went out of my way to AVOID catching these shows:

Trading Spouses: moms or dads switch households and are forced to adapt to a new family for a certain amount of time (i'm guessing a week). For example: Some stranger comes in to your home and takes over all mom-related functions. I bet lots of the "entertainment" would come from conflicts between the "new" mom with the kids. Can you imagine: different philosophy in disciplining would already wreak havoc. How about when the affected families are of different religions? Dunno if the exchanged "moms" are expected to function as "wives" too... Somehow i dont think switching dads would be as traumatic... but hey, doesn't matter... who on earth thought of such an idea, and why on earth would people want to do that to themselves and their families? Money, i bet. Never did figure out what the "prize" was, but I imagine it was substantial.

The Apprentice: Ah yes, Donald Trump's search for a new hireling within his massive empire... I did watch a few episodes of this show... and every time I'd wonder if anyone in large corporations in Malaysia (my ex-employer, for example) would think of using this as some sort of case study or conversation trigger: What sort of person is Donald Trump looking for, based on the variety of hoops he makes the candidates jump thru? How does that fit with any internal movement to "develop leaders"? Too many times I had major problems with what happened on the show: the entire "individual is king" premise was contrary to the more teamworky approach practiced in Asia. Of course, that "team" makes it much easier to avoid personal/individual accountability, so I do think Asians could do with a bit more of "western" accountability values... then again, I think the western business world needs to ease off the individual focus and look the network of people within... after all, "No man is an island"!

Gilligan's Island: Speaking of islands... can you believe there was a reality series based on this tv show of a bunch of people stranded on an island? I think what they did was recruit maybe 5 people per character (i.e. 5 different Gilligans, 5 different Skippers, 5 different Mary Janes, etc); form maybe 5 teams with a compete set of the castaways; then put them thru these various tests to eliminate the different teams.... I do wonder though,,, i doubt they reward teamwork, so somehow i bet the winner would be just one person, not one set of castaways... it seemed such a ridiculous premise...

He's a Lady: from the preview, it seems as if the show's organisers put out a casting call for the manliest men, and only after they were on board did they find out that they were going to compete to be the best LADY. Yeah, so we were treated to scenes of there muscular beefy men getting their chests waxed, get decked out in dresses, and looking overall VERY scary! brrrrrrr!!!

Who's your Daddy: Imagine you were given up for adoption at birth or when you were very young. You are given an opportunity to meet 8 or 10 different men, and try to figure out who among them is your true/biological father. If you choose correctly, you get tons of dough. If you choose wrongly, the person you thot was your dad gets the money instead. Isn't that ridiculous??

The Biggest Loser: The only series that i think has some redeeming qualities. A bunch of extremely obese people are brought together, and put through rigourous exercise etc. Split into two teams, they of course compete in different challenges, and the losing team eliminates one person. Elimination also occurs in people actually GAIN weight. Sounds simple? Well, the 5 minutes I happened to see of the show indicated that it was full of crap too... they'd put these people through hard exercise, then tempt them with extremely sinful desserts etc... and the person who chose to gorge themselves on the desserts would "win" the priviledge of a phone call to the family (I guess they were in isolation during this time?). So it's not just a matter of caving in to tempation - it's sacrificing your discipline in order to hear your loved one's voice... geeeeeez!!

Of course, this over-abundance of reality shows will spawn spoofs. I have heard of, but can't get access to, Cartoon Network's Drawn Together: This is a parody of reality shows, with a cast that spoofs several famous types of animated characters. Caught a promo of it, and the 10 seconds was enough to have me ROTFLMAO! Any reader who has LimeWire, Napster, iMesh etc - do hunt this down, I'm guessing it will be worth your while!

Stay tuned for the next installment of tv commentary on a "re-imagining" of Battlestar Galactica! what on earth will they think of next??? :-(

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