Saturday, August 11, 2007

reality tv

Jeff told me the other day that I need to write a blog about my obsession with reality television. When he said that, I thought, I don't have an obsession with reality TV. I don't watch Survivor or American Idol. I didn't know what I could possibly write about.

I will admit to being hooked on a few reality shows. The show I was watching when Jeff made that comment was Big Brother. You can decide if it is an obsession.

I have been watching Big Brother since its inception 8 years ago. It is only on in the summer. The premise of the show is put 16 strangers in a house, isolated from the rest of the world and see what happens. Each week, one person is evicted from the house, and whoever is left at the end of the summer wins half a million dollars.

The first year the show was on, it aired 5 nights a week (now its on 3 nights). The show was similar to eavesdropping on your neighbors. You get to see and hear all their conversations. That first year, my whole summer revolved around making sure I was home when the show was on. I TiVo it now.

After the first year, the show started airing lots of planned competitions between the house guests. I pretty much fast forward through those. I prefer just listening to their conversations.

Some people are bigger Big Brother fans than me. For a fee, you can subscribe to live feeds on your computer, so you can watch the house guests 24/7. They also air some footage on Showtime. I have never subscribed to the live feeds. I fear if I did, I would spend my whole summer watching it.

Maybe I like Big Brother because I have always loved eavesdropping on my neighbors, especially when they are having arguments. In one of our apartments, I used to make popcorn when I heard a fight brewing between the couple below us. I would sit at the top of the stairs, eating my popcorn, listening. That's one of the things I miss about living in apartments, the ability to spy.

I think we like watching other people, because it makes us feel better about ourselves. People always end up looking ridiculous on reality TV. The editors make sure of it. I really can't relate to anyone on Big Brother, but I do have people I root for. This season seems better than previous ones, lots of arguing. The first season got boring toward the end. All the contestants became good friends and were nice to each other. It got a little boring.

Jeff rolls his eyes when he sees me watching Big Brother. He makes comments like, "I can't believe you are still watching this crap." Sometimes, he glances at the screen, and I notice he has trouble pulling himself away from it. When I call him on that, he denies any interest. I don't believe him. Its impossible not to get drawn into the drama. At least for me.

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