Reality TV: Is it Really Reality?
BY Shannon Entin
Published 4 years ago
What do you think of when someone says “reality TV?” Kardashians? American Idol? Reality TV has been around a lot longer than you probably think and encompasses dating, talent, cooking, sports, buying & selling, home improvement and more!
This week Shannon and Fadra discuss reality shows they’ve watched and loved… and hated. And are they really reality?
3:03 What are you watching? Shannon rants about The OA. She loved it, but she needs answers!
- Do the writers mean it to be so ambiguous? You don’t actually know if the events of the show really happened. It’s an unsatisfying ending that a lot of people hated.
- Why did they have to leave their doors open? And do their parents not notice? This is never explained!
- Shannon and Fadra both want to believe it’s real. What is the point of the show if it’s not real?
10:26 Correction from last episode: Shannon corrects the order for watching the Netflix Marvel shows. The proper order to watch is: Daredevil S1, Jessica Jones, Daredevil S2, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and then Defenders when it’s out on 8/18.
12:49 Fadra is making headway on The Walking Dead! She’s into season three and has learned that you can’t get attached to anyone.
16:20 Fadra watched the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral about the death of major coral reefs around the world. It wasn’t a major thumbs up, but she enjoyed it.
17:18 Fadra is looking for advice on some shows she’s started but haven’t finished. What should she see through to the end? (Talk to us on Facebook!)
- The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu
- Between on Netflix
- 13 Reasons Why on Netflix
- Grace and Frankie on Netflix
23:12 Movies we’ve watched: Fadra saw The Dark Tower on opening weekend.
- Love Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey
- Potential for great story (or series?) but not well executed
- Special effects were great but too short (1 hr 35 mins)
- Needed more complexity to the characters and the storyline
Shannon saw Spider-Man for the second time because her daughter has a Tom Holland obsession and wanted to go with a friend.
Shannon also watched the Hateful Eight. We talked last week about Jennifer Jason Leigh, and she was in the Hateful Eight and nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar award. Shannon and Fadra discuss Quentin Tarantino movies.
28:12 What’s coming up: Disney is pulling its movies from Netflix and starting its own streaming service… details are still sketchy, but it’s becoming clear that streaming services will be the new normal. It’ll be interesting to see how this will play out.
Fadra is looking forward to Murder on the Orient Express (based on the Agatha Christie novel published in 1934) and is listening to the audiobook. The movie comes out November 10th and has an all-star cast including Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, and Leslie Odom Jr.
Stinger Topic of the Week: Reality TV
32:30 What is reality TV these days? Does it even exist anymore?
Everything is staged these days. Did you know the deal that’s made on camera on Shark Tank is different than the real deal that’s made behind closed doors?
What was the true beginning of reality TV? Shannon thinks maybe it was Candid Camera (1948). And Kids Say the Darnedest Things and America’s Funniest Home Videos were among the first to give people a peek into the lives of real people.
35:36 Fadra notes that PBS was a pioneer in reality TV with the documentary An American Family, filmed in 1971 and aired in 1973. It was a true slice of life show and included all the elements of good reality TV: love, divorce, scandal (their son is gay!). You can find clips from this show here on the PBS web site.
39:20 These days everything seems to be staged. Shows like Storage Wars and Pawn Stars are so obviously staged. The Property Brothers are also totally fake. Shannon and Fadra are a little crushed and discuss how we all really want it to be real.
43:22 How about game shows? Jeopardy, Price is Right. Fadra says she’d rock the Price is Right. Shannon’s favorite new game show is The Wall on NBC with Chris Hardwick.
45:57 And then there are dating shows. Fadra liked Dating Game, Love Connection, Temptation Island, and Wife Swap.
Shannon liked the ones with celebrities. Brett Michaels, the singer of 80s band Poison, had a show called Rock of Love where 25 women competed to be his girlfriend. It was so bad it was good. Scott Baio (Chachi from Happy Days) had Scott Baio is 45 and Single. Christopher Knight (Peter from the Brady Bunch) did My Fair Brady that followed his relationship with America’s Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry.
48:36 Sports reality shows can motivate you! Shannon keeps American Ninja Warrior on her DVR for exercise motivation. Fadra loved Wipeout and Battle of the Network Stars, which we hear is being reprised! Shannon and Fadra decide we need to see more celebrities doing sports and fitness shows.
Until next time, it’s been “real.”