Every month our wonderful columnist gives us a hilarious insight into everyday life. This issue she took the words right our of our mouth when it comes to the thoughts we have when watching reality TV.
My name is Kellie and I am addicted to TV.
I have not been tellyfree since I last took my class to school camp for three days about a year ago; there are no chips for that. I’ve heard all the arguments about telly rotting your brain and stunting your creativity but, to be honest, I struggle to hear them over the opening credits of Shortland Street.
Arguably the most maligned genre on telly would be reality TV and I agree, most of it is poppycock. But in the same way that eating a stuffed crust pizza and a Sarah Lee cheesecake by myself is not being healthy, that does not make it any less enjoyable; so binge watching a season of Housewives of Beverly Hills may not make me a more critical thinker, but I bloody love it.
Ironically, given my lack of culinary skills and my passion for frozen foodstuffs, some of my favourite viewing at the moment is reality cooking shows. My husband and I eat them up (cheeky pun, oi, oi!); in particular, a certain wee number that anyone not as riveted to it as I am would think is on all evening, every evening – My Kitchen Rules. The actual cooking doesn’t hold as much fascination for me as the conflict between the contestants – oh the humanity! I’m really watching it as a Margaret Mead-type of anthropological experiment (that’s my ‘I read nudie mags for the articles’ excuse… I’m quite proud of it!) I’ve discovered that in most reality competitions, cooking being no exception, the participants tend to fall into the following categories:
NICE BUT DIM
You know that you should be rooting for these guys, but somehow I never do. They smile a lot and really love their animals/family/jobs/ country. However, their efforts to win the competition are inevitably stymied by the fact that they are as daft as a brush. On the upside, they may be picked up as crowd favourites and given the opportunity to star in an upcoming, new show more suited to those who are a bit thick, like Married at First Sight.
MOST LIKELY TO: inanely mouth “good luck” to their opponents before sudden death eliminations.
MOST LIKELY TO SAY: “If tuna is chicken from the sea, is it fish or chicken?”
Another crowd pleaser, the Battler is going through, or been through, some tough times. They have faced the uncertainty of IVF/death of a loved one/a serious illness, but they are still competing, usually in the name of the hurdle they have overcome. Often there will be a talking head cutaway, while the Battler tearfully relays to the viewer just how much this experience means to them.
MOST LIKELY TO: cry and wear an awareness ribbon.
MOST LIKELY TO SAY: “This is why I’m here.”
Well, that says it all really. These are the players with few redeeming qualities, the ones that actually make the show worth watching. You can unite with strangers on the train about how awful Douche-bag is and how you can’t believe what they said to Nice But Dim last week. Douche-bag’s confidence usually doesn’t match their competence and they seldom make it through to the end. Secretly everyone is disappointed when Douche-bag leaves the show. The nasty parts in the deep recesses of your soul acknowledge that your evening is a little less bright without the torch of burning hatred that they tend to inspire.
MOST LIKELY TO: over-promise and under-deliver and throw things at puppies.
MOST LIKELY TO SAY: “I could do it so much better and also you’re a bit fat.”