September 8, 2004

Where is the “real” in reality?

Note: Rancid Raves upgraded its headquarters last week (explaining the severe dearth of posts). Later this week I will blog about the bonding experience the Husband v. 1.0 and I “shared”.

I wouldn’t consider myself a huge reality fan, but I do enjoy the contest-oriented ones such as Survivor, The Apprentice, and the Amazing Race. I just don’t get the point of the other ones like the Bachelor, Blow Out, Big Obnoxious Fiancee etc other than the camera crew hanging around desperately in anticipation of a humiliating incident (exception: Joe Millionaire the Original sucked me in like a toilet gone bad). I tried watching the Casino, but the situations were so clearly staged that I cut it from my TiVo in disgust.

When people ask “how can you watch that crep?” it’s hard to explain. Do I really think the shows are occurring exactly as it happens? Or, do I believe the producers stage some incidents and film the reactions? I would go with the latter – quite a few of the so-called reality genre would be better termed as “unscripted reactions”. What really attracts me to the shows I do watch are the challenges – it is so entertaining to watch the contests and the participants’ reactions to pressure.

Now, to the show I just adore this summer – The Amazing Race 5. There’s a reason why this show has won an Emmy – it is simply the classiest, most entertaining of it genre. I LOVE the editing this season - love, love, LOVE it. Earlier in the season when they were herding sheep, I cracked up at the shot of Charla pointing to one of the goats/sheeps and saying "THAT's the bad one", and then the camara focusing on a goat with a menacing look as the dramatic music cued on spot. If there is an Emmy for editing, this season's crew deserves one. They have managed to take a huge amount of scrambled footage and make a compelling season out of it.

Last night was one of the coolest episodes yet – it’s about time they went to New Zealand, the Land of the Philiminator and Extreme Sports! The sledging down the waterfall and rolling around in a human-sized gerbil ball was priceless! I can’t say I was sad to see the Twins go, but I wouldn’t have minded the Models for God getting the old heave ho. Praying to God to help them find the clue while they are knee deep in mud? Puh-leeze.

Despite my better judgment, I can’t help but root for Colin and Christie (they have raced a consistently strong race the entire season), but I would definitely prefer to see the Bowling Moms win. With only 4 teams left, the countdown begins………

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