KT: The Reality of Television

Posted: July 12, 2011 in KT Personal

Is there one all-encompassing umbrella that is “reality television”? I suppose when I hear the term, I think of the kind of shows I don’t like: “Survivor”, “The Bachelor/ette”, and other shows that dominated television in the late 90’s/early 00’s. (“Temptation Island”, anyone?)

However, I do love shows that are on History Channel and Travel Channel… like “Pawn Stars” … the number one show on cable, “American Restoration”, “American Pickers”, “Ghost Adventures”, and “Man v. Food”, just to name a few. I also really enjoy anything that Gordon Ramsay touches, like “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” (especially the UK series), “Hell’s Kitchen”, and “Master Chef”.

Somehow it feels as if these shows are different than “reality” shows that are more commonly associated with the genre. My husband and I have toyed around with the idea of “cutting the cable” entirely in the fall — pretty sad if you know what I do as a paying career — but our television watching tastes have changed. No longer are we beholden to appointment television. We watch what we want when we want through a variety of resources, especially Netflix streaming. (Keep adding television shows, Netflix gods!) No longer do we have to rush home to catch our favorite show. There really isn’t anything on (worth watching) that isn’t available somewhere else; be it on the network’s website or Hulu or a host of other sites.

I think the reality is that television really is customizable to each individual viewer and I know more and more people that are starting to unplug the cable box and are looking for other ways of entertaining themselves through other means of getting their favorite shows. For JC and I, it’s going back to those shows that maybe we weren’t ready for, or avoided, or just didn’t see. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one that we’re going to try out. Arrested Development is another.

We would love any and all suggestions of which television shows we should give a try!

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