Posts Tagged Big Brother

Reality TV

 

Reality TV has come a long way since the Newlywed Game.  Now there are reality TV shows for every demographic and every preference.  Intellectuals can match wits with 5th graders and gossips can get the real story on To Tell the Truth.  Voyeurs can watch house guests 24 x 7 on Big Brother and adventurers learn what it takes to Survive. 

 

Survivor began in 2000, the brain child of creator Mark Burnett, and an uncertain audience embraced the show, much to the surprise and delight of execs at CBS.  The premise was simple – take a group of people and put them in a deserted local.  Force them to pick each other off one by one until the last man (or woman) standing is awarded $1 million.  I don’t know if Burnett expected the contestants to devolve so quickly or not, but the effects of the experience are fascinating to watch. 

 

Survivor was the first to showcase people out of their element, living together and getting real.  The Real World aired on MTV in 1992, with seven strangers living together in one house.  The show finds a new generation of fans each year and casting continues to find the most extreme personalities to ensure loads of DRAMA.  They have a formula that works.  Mix equal one of each: a homosexual, a Christian, a wild girl, a player, a loyal boyfriend, a brown skinned person and a racist, stir in alcohol, place in an exotic local and allow to simmer.  Then just sit back and enjoy. 

 

After Survivor’s success, every network scrambled to put a reality TV show on the air.  Some were good:  The Amazing Race, The Mole, The Apprentice, Biggest Loser and some were bad: My Big Fat Obnoxious Finance, Pirate Master and Fat March.

 

Most will fall into certain categories.  Survivor’s motto for example, is out wit, out play, out last.  It’s all about the competition, playing to win, using strategy to manipulate others.  The Amazing Race and The Mole also require mental and physical abilities to succeed.  The viewers gets a chance to know the competitors, to hear their back story, and meet (through TV at least) their family and friends. 

 

Another group of shows will showcase a specific skill, such as; modeling, decorating, singing, acting, designing clothes or even cutting hair.  Contestants are looking for their big break and compete for a cash prize or employment contract.  I think The Apprentice started the movement of career centric shows.  Contestants vied for an opportunity to work with The Donald and after seemingly impossible challenges they would be called to the board room and one player would be eliminated.  I think the Donald has trademarked his catch phrase “You’re Fired.”  One of my favorite shows in this category was the short lived (one season so far) show On the Lot.  Aspiring directors created short films each week hoping for the opportunity to work at DreamWorks for a year. 

 

There are makeover shows, from Biggest Loser to the Swan.  The Biggest Loser stands out because the contestants really work hard to make amazing transformations.  Other makeover shows are inspiring because of the end result, not necessarily the process. 

 

There are day in the life reality TV shows which basically follow people around while they live their life or do their job.  No challenges, no prize at the end, just a fascinating glimpse into the way other people live.  Sometimes the show will center on an individual like Hogan Knows Best or Hey Paula or it might be based on a group of people who work together, such as: Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, LA Ink or Ace of Cakes.  

 

And then, of course, there are all the dating and relationship shows.  Love found on the Bachelor and love lost on Temptation Island.  There’s a huge variety of shows in this category too.  VH1 has claimed a niche with their Celebreality catering to D or E list celebs like Flavor Flav or Bret Michaels.  MTV jumped on board with A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.  I shudder to think who’ll be next – Andy Dick?  Tara Reid? Courtney Love?

 

I for one will be there to watch. 

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Reality TV Wrap Up 18APR08

Biggest Loser had a big finale and the first female winner.  The contestants looked amazing.  Especially Bernie, Brittany, Ali and Kelly. Roger, Mark and Dan all looked about the same as when they left campus.  They lost a lot of weight, but it just wasn’t as dramatic as the others.  I was so impressed with Kelly throughout the show. She was an underdog throughout the competition and she made it to the end.  Paul didn’t show up due to illness.

 

Big Brother – Sheila won HOH (well, sort of) and she was able to pull of her objective of ousting Natalie (well, sort of) thus securing her place in the final three (well, you know). The boys, Ryan and Adam had plans of their own. They called out Natalie in a house meeting, forcing her to choose a side once and for all. Since only the boys were voting she naturally declared her allegiance to them.  Then they split the vote and let Sheila do the dirty work.  Ryan won HOH and stayed true to his buddy Adam, nominating Sharon and Sheila.

 

American Idol had a diva-licious night with Mariah Carey mentoring the young wannabe’s.  The best line of the night was Paula declaring Mariah can be proud of the legacy she’s left for all the young singers coming up.  I don’t think Mariah realized she was an older singer yet. David Cook received a standing O from Randy. David Archuleta and Jason Castro also had strong nights.  As usual, Simon was particularly tuff on Carly Smithson. He softened the blows when he explained it was tough love.  Kristy Lee Cook was booted, but I’m sure she’ll have a brilliant career in Branson.

 

Survivor is always unpredictable and this week proved it once again. Jason bargained away an opportunity for individual immunity when he was offered sweets, pizza and beer for himself and the tribe.  Despite everyone’s promise to keep him another week, Ozzy, Amanda, James and Erik had every intention of voting him off the island.  Instead, Cirie turned things around and made a play to pull out Ozzy’s immunity idol.  Ozzy was too comfortable with his tribe and didn’t play the idol. He was voted out.  James is finally off the hook as the dumbest player in history.  They’re at least tied.

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Reality World

Reality TV shows range from extreme competitions to career challenges. There are even more offerings for voyeuristic TV audiences, with cable and network channel offerings.   Here are just a few of our favorites:

American Idol – The Granddaddy of Talent Shows.  America’s aspiring singers vie for a recording contract and more importantly, a huge fan base. Previous winners have gone on to sell millions of albums, win awards and a few have cross over to acting.

American Idol

Survivor – It just doesn’t get any more “real” then Survivor, where contestants live and compete for $1 Million.  The players are starved, abused and all but one eliminated by consensus vote.

Amazing Race – Pairs team up to travel the globe and complete challenges; eating exotic delicacies, crossing high wires or digging for clues.  The real drama occurs between team mates who are stressed, sleep deprived and desperate to stay in the game.

Amazing Race Season 12

Big Brother – Who would imagine watching 14 houseguests living under constant surveillance could be so interesting?  During the week, contestants participate in games to win food; Head of Household or Power of Veto powers. 

Big Brother

The Real World – In its 19th season, this show puts 7 strangers in a house and gives them all the booze they can drink. All you have to is sit back and watch the shockingly bad behavior unfold.

The Hills – Lauren Conrad is all grown up and working in LA for Teen Vogue.  Girl fights ensue when BFF Heidi chooses boy toy Spencer.  

Laguna Beach & Newport Beach – The most popular high school kids, party and play.  The must pay the school geeks to do their homework, because you’ll never see these kids doing homework.

 The Real Housewives of Orange County – Grown up version of MTVs Laguna Beach.  

America’s Next Top Model – Tyra mentors wanna’ be models and critiques their performance during outrageous photo shoots.

Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency– Janice was a former judge on ANTM and capitalized on the publicity by launching her own agency. She’s at times mother or monster, caring for her charges, building them up and then tearing them down.

Kid Nation – Someone finally asked “What if Lord of the Flies was made into Reality TV?”  The result is Kid Nation – no adults and kids (aged 9 -15)

Kid Nation

The Biggest Loser – Overweight individual transform before our eyes. The results are amazing, but the biggest changes seem to happen on the inside.

Celebrity Fit Club – Overweight celebrities transform before our eyes. Or they just have major tantrums and call their agents.

I Love New York – Several men compete for New York’s affections.

I Love New York

Shot at Love with Tila Tequila – Men and women compete for Tila’s affections

Tila Tequila

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