Weekly Wrap-up: Reality TV

January 11th, 2003 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

[Davina McCall and the Big Brother logo]Right, this is my third week doing the Weekly Wrap-up meme, and this weeks subject is all about reality TV.

  1. Do you watch reality television? Why or why not?
    I did watch most of the first series of Channel 4’s Big Brother series, but apart from that, I haven’t really watched any (unless you count, as the ODP does, Jackass, Robot Wars and Scrapheap Challenge as “reality shows” – all three of which I enjoy).
    Why didn’t I watch Survivor, Big Brother 2+3 (and Celebrity Big Brother), The Osbournes (shudder) or any of the multitude of “clones” that have been on? They just never really interested me – after all: if you wanted to watch people sitting around doing everyday stuff, then why don’t you just go round someone’s house? Plus, due to the fact the participants know they are being recorded and are given ‘unusual tasks’ to complete hardly makes it “real” does it?

    However, if you wanted me to watch a reality show you’ll have to try and re-create Ben Elton’s Dead Famous where, in a reality show called “House Arrest” based in a house (shades of BB? 🙂 ) a contestant is killed right in front of the cameras. Everybody knows how, where, when and who was killed – but who was the killer and could they strike again. It’s a really good book, but the chances of it actually happening in real life are, alas, extremely slim

  1. Which reality television show is your favourite? Why?
    Hmm, I’d have to say “Big Brother” as it’s the only one I’ve really watched. However, given the ODP’s list of reality shows, I’d have to say Jackass, Scrapheap Challenge, Robot Wars and Fear Factor in that order.
    Why? What is it with these “weekly” things asking for reasons ever time? 🙂 I guess because Jackass as it’s funny (well, to me at least) and I wouldn’t really class it as a “reality show” as it is staged for the camera in every aspect – and, despite what you may think, all the stunts are checked by MTV legal department, roads are closed when necessary etc etc – the stunts are still risky, but they aren’t as bad as you may think.
    “Scrapheap Challenge” and “Robot Wars” because they appeal to my ‘techy’ side, are slightly entertaining (will the items perform as expected) and are slightly educational (what shape of robot is best and why – how does a old-fashioned scuba-diving helmet work…).
    I prefer the UK version of Fear Factor to the US one as it’s more “team orientated” and the one showing the US version I’ve seen sent shudders down my spine. It was just so competitive (all the shouting and insults – where as in the UK version the teams are either quiet or they encourage the competing team – after all, it’s more enjoyable to the audience to watch someone fail right at the very end of a challenge then not even attempt it because of the insults and the attack on their confidence) and the US version had the idea of ‘one man for himself’ – the UK version has 2 teams (of 3 people) and the opposite team pick who should attempt a challenge.
  2. Which reality television show do you dislike or despise? Why?
    Hmm, since I’ve got a habit of not watching things that I don’t enjoy I can’t really think of any. I don’t particularly like “The Osbournes” as it just seems too weird and strange, Survivor (what I’ve seen of it – which must amount to a whole 20 minutes in my live) seems just too competitive and unrealistic, I’ve never seen The Anna Nicole Show (the trailers for it on Sky One put me off even considering watching it!), and the Popstars/PopIdol shows – well, shall I just say that I don’t really like manufactured bands, but at least have bands/groups that can “stand on their own two feet” – Hear’Say collapsed after around a year after releasing one single (I think they may have released a second one, but it must have totally flopped), Will Young and Gareth Gates have yet to come out with an ‘original single’ to my knowledge (just cover versions of other artists’ songs).
  3. If you could appear on any reality television show, which one would it be? Why?
    “Scrapheap Challenge” or “Robot Wars” as they both appeal to my techy instinct and I like challenges 🙂 Failing that, probably Big Brother just for the money.
  4. Describe your ideal reality television show.
    I actually think Sky One or Channel 4 are showing a programme which nearly fits my specifications to this at the moment – but I can’t remember which channel or the programme name – let alone what time it is on 🙁 Basically, the people “featured” in the show have no idea that they are being filmed yet (in the manner of “The Truman Show“) they are forced to interact with actors who conjure up different situations – hence allowing us to watch a ‘natural reaction’.
    The movie Series 7 – The Contenders also sounded interesting (“Reality TV just another circus” – ” A TV program selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize.”), but I never watched it so I can’t comment directly on the film.

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This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".


  1. Scott says:

    Actually, The Osbournes is fun; I enjoy it more than most other reality shows. Yes, yes, Scrapheap/Junkyard is the best of the lot, and I rather like Cathy’s new show, Full Metal Challenge (she’s yummy). The rest? Usually not worth mentioning.

  2. Scott says:

    Oh, and Trading Spaces, our version of Changing Rooms.

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