The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Friday, May 30, 2003

The apparent waning--or at least, leveling--of the reality TV phenomenon is being cheered by many. And yet, it undeniably is making the television landscape a bit more boring. I feel Collette Bancroft's pain, as she laments the absence of reality, even though she hates herself for indulging in it.

I share her sentiments only to a point, though. Despite being fascinated with its development as it grew over the last couple of years, I've never become a viewer--and it's not like I've had to fight any urges to watch any of it. At this point, I'm dissatisfied with most of what television offers these days, regardless of format or genre. In my mind, reality TV is no more worthless than the average sitcom or drama--they're all crap. If it wasn't for sports and the movie channels, I'd never turn the set on.

My favorite part of this article from the St. Pete Times has to do with Bancroft relating her brief experience as a Nielsen family:

The next week, a woman called from Nielsen. She wanted to be sure we understood how to keep the log, because we didn't seem to be watching nearly as much TV as most people.

"Now, you know," she said, "we want you to record everything you watch, not just the shows you like."

Pause at my end. "Why would I watch a show I didn't like?"

Pause at her end. "Well, you have to watch something."

Well, no, I don't. And reality TV has helped me remember that.