Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Really Not Into Reality, But .....

If the ratings are any indicator, I'm one of about seven people nationwide that is not a fan of "American Idol," arguably one of the most successful of the 'reality TV' programs to hit the airwaves.

Actually, the same holds true for most of the more successful reality shows ..... I remember, from the very beginning, I was never able to embrace "
Survivor." I remember writing in my weekly column for the Fort Stockton Pioneer, that having known too many real survivors - whether they were U.S. Marines or West Texas pioneer ranchers - I just didn't have much patience with all the posturing and pontificating from the TV show's contestants.

There have been exceptions, though. I used to love watching "
Junkyard Wars" ..... but that series eventually ran its course, and was retired. I was a big fan of Monster House and Monster Garage, until the shows' producers started spending more and more time on personality and confrontation, and less and less time on product and construction.

Production, production, production ..... needless to say, when "
Making News: Texas Style" hit the airwaves, I was interested. After all, it was about my business, and about people I knew and had worked with ..... but the show's producers, for the most part, made sure I didn't watch more than two-and-a-half episodes - I thought they did a terrible job.

But, the thing about television programming ..... there is a lot of it out there, and there's bound to be something for everyone. For me, it's "
Top Chef" which airs Wednesday nights at nine (central) on BravoTV. Why? Part of it is the content - I have always enjoyed shows about cooking - and part of it is the genuine competition and the creative challenges that are presented to the contestants. A big part of it is the production ..... there is A LOT of the attitude and the posturing that I dislike on other programs, but somehow the producers have added just the right portion of that ingredient to the mix, and maintain the show's focus on the product.

I'll be watching tonight ..... and someday, maybe - just maybe - I'll try one of their recipes in my kitchen.


Anonymous said...

I've never seen a single episode of American Idol, nor Survivor.

And look, I'm still alive!

Jeff said...

Jim, and I'm glad you are! Thanks for stopping in. I've been thinking of you and other Keystone State friends and family, while following the primary brouhaha.

Rob said...

We've become die-hard "American Idol" fans, but haven't had time to keep up with "Survivor" this season, although we've been big fans of that show in seasons past.

Not exactly in the same vein, but I also really like "Survivorman" and "Dirty Jobs."

Jeff said...

Rob, thanks for stopping in ..... and thanks for reminding me of another reality show that counts me among their fans - Survivorman! I enjoy the content, and I REALLY enjoy watching how Les sets-up shots, etc. My appreciation for Les and his program grew even more, last year, when the (un)reality of 'Man vs. Wild' was exposed.

Rob said...

Sometimes Les' commentary is a little overly-dramatic, but I do really respect the heck outta the guy. The situations he's in are tough enough as it is, but then to have to be his own camera & sound crew on top of that...

And he doesn't have a survival-training background. He does a few days prep on location with local guides to get an overview or what to expect and the unique hazards involved, but otherwise he's really just a crafty outdoorsman with some ingenuity, a dab of skill, a great deal of perseverance, and a stiff shot of pure luck.

I like the fact that he doesn't mind letting you know that he makes mistakes and does dumb rookie stuff too.

I would jump at the chance to go hang with Les just to pick his brain and learn by his side! My outdoorsmanship extends just about as far as working in my own backyard. Sad, really.

And it just occurred to me that many of the reasons I mentioned for liking Les apply just as well to Mike Rowe on his "Dirty Jobs" show...

Jeff said...

Rob, you and I are in complete agreement .... it would be great to hang with Les, and learn by his side.

As for Mike and 'Dirty Jobs,' though .... I think I'll just stay home in my nice, clean easy chair, and watch on TV :-)