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And you think *you’ve* got problems.

9 July 2012

It’s never this kind of hoard.

Every once in a while, I start thinking I have problems. Then I watch an episode or two of Hoarders, and I realize that, nope. I’ve got nothing in the way of problems.

I used to be one of those guys who said, “Oh, I’m not into reality shows.” At the time, that might have been the truth, but it’s not now. Sure, I love a good scripted TV show as much as the next guy, and there are some really great ones out there — Mad Men. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Luther and anything Joss Whedon will ever do. But I will admit — I dig watching certain reality shows. And up at the top of the list of ones I like to watch — Hoarders.

It’s rarely this kind of horde.

The thing about Hoarders (and other shows like it, like Intervention or Obsessed) is that it lets us peer into a life completely unlike our own, a life that is in many cases ten to a hundred times more terrifying than the mundane crap we have to get through on a day-to-day basis. And I believe there’s value in that, beyond just the on-the-surface entertainment that most TV provides. Personally, it reminds me that my situation could always be worse than it is, and that my problems that seem important and world-altering to me are really… well, insignificant.

So, what about you, folks? Where do you land on reality TV? And really, can you even avoid it anymore?

Oh, come on!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 11 July 2012 1614

    Hoarders…I’ve watched, I will admit. It…started depressing me. Not the show, but people at work who were like, “Oh, those are NASTY people!” — not getting that…they are ill. It’s sad, the reactions. I’m fascinated by the show, because it’s about obsession, and as writers…well, we’re obsessed!

    I have been guilty of complaining about History Channel’s lack of history and watching back to back to back episodes of American Pickers or American Restoration. My wife and I like Destination Truth and Face Off on SyFy. In the past, I’ve been guilty of watching Deadliest Catch…and I guess one could argue that Dirty Jobs is reality TV. Mike Rowe is, at least, a demigod…if not a fully-fledged god! Shit, I’ve even watched the intervention show and Taboo and NatGeo’s prison stuff.

    Reality TV really HAS moved on from singing and Big Brother to better things that writers SHOULD actually pay attention to, I think.

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