Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reality Or Fiction?

by Beth

Reality is taking over our television sets. Now, I don't know about you but I get quite enough reality just living my life, thanks all the same. I don't want to add more to it during my down time. If I had to choose between all Reality shows or Fiction shows, I'll choose fiction every time.

That's not to say I don't enjoy certain Reality programs. One of my favorite shows to watch is Top Chef (currently Top Chef All Stars) and Top Chef Masters (coming soon with a new host!) and back when Project Runway was on Bravo, my daughter and I caught every episode. I've also watched a few episodes of American Idol and Dancing With the Stars and enjoyed them both and I'll admit I enjoy watching the weigh-in at the end of each episode of The Biggest Loser to see how far the contestants have come. And, of course, I love cooking shows which I'm going to say are reality TV although with no contests, name calling or drunken escapades :-)

I prefer to be entertained by a great story told with excellent writing, superb characterization and unexpected plot twists and turns. I want to suspend my disbelief when watching Eureka, a fun, fabulous and witty program on the SyFy channel. I want to hang on the edge of my seat and try to figure out who-done-it in shows like Detroit 187 and The Closer. I want to laugh at the happenings going on during The Office.

For the most part, I want scripted TV. I want that fantasy.

However, I'm in the minority in my house as my daughters love their reality shows such as America's Next Top Model, Jersey Shore and Daisy Of Love - just a few that have caught their attention.

What about you? Do you prefer Reality shows or scripted TV? What are some of your favorite shows on now?


Kim in Hawaii said...


Kim in Hawaii said...

I think the GR would like to hang out with the feral chickens in Hawaii!

We missed Top Chef's finale last week (hotel on Kauai didn't carry Bravo). I like to watch Top Chef and Project Runway for the actual tasks, not the drama.

I hate to admit that I also enjoy Celebrity Apprentice ... which is now an official train wreck with Star Jones at the helm!

My favorite "scripted" show is, of course, Hawaii Five O!

barb said...

Well done Kim

I don't watch too much TV but I don't mind watching the occassional Master Chef... but I would rather read a book

Donna MacMeans said...

Aloha Kim! Watch that frisky GR. It's officially the first day of spring and a rooster's thoughts most likely turn to ...chickens!

Did anyone see the super moon last night? I saw it on the way home from Les Miz. Not sure it was any bigger, given all the hype, but it sure was bright!

I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do - a prefer something well written and scripted. The only reality show I watch is American Idol - and I'm not one of the faithful there. Most of the time, the TV is on and I sort of listen to the shows while I'm doing something else. For that, I listen to - Castle and the Mentalist. Sometimes House - though that has lost its edge for me. I like the Big Bang Theory but once they changed its time slot, I'm never sure when it's on anymore - so I miss it a lot.

Of course, now I'm watching the OSU Buckeyes play their way down through March Madness. I really only watch sports when I have a connection to the team. These boys are mine (grin).

Anna Sugden said...

Sisters under the skin! Like you, Beth, I enjoy shows like Top Chef, Project Runway and Step it up and Dance. I also love shows like Ace of Cakes and Iron Chef. I prefer the ones without all the bitchy drama, which showcase talent.

But, in the main, I prefer a good drama show. You got me hooked on Leverage *g* and I also watch Castle and The Closer. Also Saving Grace and a show from the UK called New Tricks. I'm currently working through the fifth series of The West Wing and loving it!

Christie Kelley said...

I'm not much of a reality TV fan. I do like American Idol and watch it every week. Other than that, I stick to fiction. I'm favs are How I Met Your Mother, Glee and The Event (so much better after they retooled it over the the break).

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I watch Food Network, that is usually about it for me. Not really into the other reality shows, sometimes I do switch to DYI because they do cool stuff on houses but what they consider cheap isn't cheap to me.

Joan said...

Feral chickens?!!!!! Dear Lord!!!!

They don't stand a chance against Himself, LOL.

I think reality shows have just about run their course. They are digging deeper and deeper into the gutter for subjects (Jersey Shore...celebrity rehab)and losing their luster.

Think about it. They are running out of remote locations for Survivor...all the contestants come in ALREADY with a game plan. DWTS...the show ya'll KNOW I scraping bottom with the "celebrities"...and I use that term compete. I rarely vote anymore and don't rush home to see it live.

A good scripted story is always welcome. I like that Off the Map as far as characterization though my ability to suspend medical disbelief is impossible. Comedies i.e The Middle, Big Bang Theory are great. I've REALLY tired of all the medical examiner type shows that depict autopsies.

Really.....let it go.

Now, off to script my latest WIP....with a bit of the Irish to lead the way :D

Beth Andrews said...

Happy Sunday, All! The sun is shining here so it's a good day *g* Still quite a bit of snow on the ground, though!

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Kim!

I like to watch Top Chef and Project Runway for the actual tasks, not the drama.

LOL! Me, too. For Top Chef, I often watch the quick fire then flip to other shows until they're done cooking for the elimination challenge *g*

I've caught a few episodes of Hawaii Five O and really enjoyed it. Love the buddy relationship aspect of it :-)

Beth Andrews said...

Hey, Barb! I often read as I'm watching TV *g* Drives my husband crazy. Especially when I miss parts of the show because I'm engrossed in a story and I ask him what just happened :-)

Beth Andrews said...

Did anyone see the super moon last night?

We did, Donna. And we had the same thought as you - couldn't tell that it looked bigger but it was brighter *g*

We've watched a big of the tournament, too. Unfortunately, Belmont went out early (my son's school) and Pitt lost a close one last night. I'll have either basketball or hockey on today while I'm making Sunday dinner :-)

Beth Andrews said...

You got me hooked on Leverage *g*

Yay! That is such a fabulous show. We got away from watching it so I added all the seasons to my Netflix queue. I can't wait to catch up on them.

I've discovered that for me, I have to really like the characters in a show to get hooked. I've tried to watch a few shows that have great story lines and are really well written, but I can't get in to them because I don't like any of the characters.

Beth Andrews said...

Christie, I do enjoy Glee - it's such campy fun *g* And I think it's really cool that a musical can do so well on TV!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning everyone!
And congrats on the chook, Kim! Please keep him away from the feral chickens. He is wild enough without any outside influences. :-P

Cute post, Beth! I'm afraid the only "reality" show I watch is The Amazing Race. I love it when they go to places I've been, or places I want to go. I do hate when they try to play up the drama. :-( Honestly, they don't need to do that.

As for the other "reality" shows... No thanx. I'm with you, give me a well-scripted fiction show! I agree with Kim, the new Hawaii Five-O is one of the better ones I've watched lately. My son is a HUGE L&O fan, esp. SVU, which is my fave of the lot also because of the great ensemble cast. Mostly, I prefer to watch movies... LURVE my Netflix!


Louisa Cornell said...

Kim, you should never have told him about those feral chickens! You'll never get rid of him now.

Timely post, Beth. I think they are really reaching to come up with subjects for these reality shows. I have way too much reality in my life as it is! I run a bakery for Walmart. I have Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss type drama up to my eyeballs. What Not To Wear? I see that every day at work! Some of our customers are definitely candidates for Cops and others look like some of the people you see on Wife Swap. And I see Biggest Loser candidates EVERY DAY!

I prefer an intriguing scripted crime drama or a really clever comedy where the comedy is based on clever wit and not crude or juvenile behavior.

I love CSI and Criminal Minds. Haven't seen Hawaii Five O, but I know I will love it. Alex is SO hot! Loved him in Moonlight. That was a well-written show and I am sorry they canceled it. And Law and Order SVU is another great show.

The only reality show I have watched is The Amazing Race. I love it because of the locales and the customs and people on it. Much can be learned from the cultures of others and how we Americans deal with it.

What I really hate is this new class of "celebrities" these shows have created. No on should become famous for behaving badly. No one.

Helen said...

Kim I too think that maybe keep him away from the feral chickens he missbehaves enough now at times LOL


I just don't watch TV at all these days except for the footy games (footy season has just started here in Oz) I used to watch Aust Idol all the time but they canned that one so yep I usually read or am on the PC I have been busy helping get everything ready for the Aust Romance Readers Con that is on this weekend YAY so no TV even footy this weekend LOL

Have Fun

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Beth, I prefer most of my down time for TV to be fiction, too. However, like you I do like a few competition reality shows.

Top Chef and all its spinoffs are top priority on my DVR, (after NCIS that is!). And I love Project Runway with all its drama!

I also like The Next Food Network Star and The Next HGTV Design Star. These people actually get TV shows at the end of their competition! How cool is that?

LilMissMolly said...

I 100% in the fiction corner. I loathe reality TV. My hubby on the hand loves Survivor and Amazing Race. They also enjoy Cake Boss and lots of other food network shows. Yuk!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Kim, he's going to be doing the hula today! Now, that's a scary thought!

Actually I have to say the whole reality TV thing really passed me by. I really like a good doco (there's a great series on the Duke of Wellington on cable here at the moment that I'm soaking up in terms of research) but these contest reality shows, nuh. Just shows I'm completely out of tune with the Zeitgeist, doesn't it?

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Kim.

I enjoy a few reality shows(Celebrity Rehab and Basketball Wives), but I definitely enjoy scripted shows more. I love NCIS, The Mentalist, 30 Rock, Justified and all the USA shows(In Plain Sight, White Collar and Fairly Legal.) Reality shows are cheaper to produce so they're an easier option than scripted shows.

Beth Andrews said...

Dianna, I don't often watch DYI (I'm not even sure we have that channel) but I do love to watch HGTV. Always great ideas there and most of them I can actually afford *g*

Beth Andrews said...

Joan, I agree with you. I'm not sure how much longer reality shows will rule. Although there doesn't seem to be any shortage of them yet.

A good scripted story is always welcome. I like that Off the Map as far as characterization though my ability to suspend medical disbelief is impossible.

I think this is a great point. I'm sure I only enjoy criminal dramas because I believe what they're telling me - although sometimes even I question if something really would've been done that way :-)

Beth Andrews said...

AC, we adore Netflix! It's really helped me catch up on all the great shows I've missed or, in some cases, never even knew about.

We're big Law And Order: SVU fans here, too. And Criminal Minds is great and has a wonderful ensemble cast.

Beth Andrews said...

LOL, Louisa! You really do have too much reality in your life *g*

What I really hate is this new class of "celebrities" these shows have created.

I agree. But so many want fame, they're willing to do anything to achieve it. And viewers love it - which I'll never understand.

Beth Andrews said...

I have been busy helping get everything ready for the Aust Romance Readers Con that is on this weekend

Helen, I would totally give up TV if I could go to the convention! I know you all are going to have a fabulous time *g*

Susanna Fraser said...

I do enjoy the occasional Food Network reality show (Chopped is my latest favorite), and I watch my share of sports. But my heart belongs to scripted TV. Castle is my current favorite, and I'm looking forward to the return of Downton Abbey.

Beth Andrews said...

These people actually get TV shows at the end of their competition! How cool is that?

Suz, that would be one great reason to go on a reality show *g* I haven't watched Food Network Star but I've caught some of the winners' shows and really enjoyed them. I like that they get a chance to shine and see if they can make it after the competition is over :-)

Beth Andrews said...

LilMissMolly, my older daughter used to watch Cake Boss. I never got into it, though. For some reason, so many reality shows that follow a 'day in the life' of someone seem more scripted than scripted TV!

Beth Andrews said...

Anna, I love documentaries. I find them fascinating. And biographies. Love hearing about someone's life in their own words *g*

Beth Andrews said...

Hey, Jane. The first season of Justified is at the top of my Netflix queue and I can't wait to watch it.

Beth Andrews said...

I'm looking forward to the return of Downton Abbey.

Hi, Susanna! I caught the LAST episode of Downton Abbey and loved it! I'll have to put it in my Netflix queue so I can see it from the beginning *g*

Christine Wells said...

Hi Beth, I'm with you--I prefer clever, original, scripted content like Spooks (MI5), Ashes to Ashes and series like that. Reality is pretty dull, IMO. However, I do confess to watching Britain's Next Top Model with Elle MacPherson. Shoot me now!

I tend to think people will grow to like any old rubbish if it's served up to them with enough hype. Is that cynical of me? LOL

Congrats on the rooster, Kim!