Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Battle of the Reality TV Shows (not stars...shows)

Reality tv shows are rampant at this point in history. It makes sense on a lot of levels. It's cheaper to have one person win a hundred thousand life-changing dollars than to pay a cast $100k a piece per episode. Or in the case of a blockbuster hit like Friends or Seinfeld, several million per.

Does anyone really remember the first one? The show that started it all? I have asked this question of a good many people. I have gotten a good many responses. The one that seems to stick in everyone's head is Survivor. But if you think back a bit farther, you may remember a show about seven strangers picked to live in a house together and see what happens when people stop being nice...and start being real. The tagline went something like that, and the show was MTV's The Real World.

We love reality shows as a society. If you disagree, you're not paying attention. American Idol has been so successful, that before the start of the most recent season, ABC, NBC, and CBS got together and offered Simon Cowell $20 million to just walk away from Idol. They dominate the ratings. Look on the brightside; eventually, we will all have a shot at a grand prize on a reality show, or producers will run out of cast members.

MTV now has the Real World/Raod Rules Challanges where past cast members face off in various battles. People are eliminated in vaious ways according to different stipulations and rules which change season to season. There is always some backstabbing, various alliances, cheating and so on. They're entertaining as hell if nothing else. But with so many shows about the same topics to say nothing of the blatant rips offs, who knows what about anything?

My favorite blogs to write are the countdown-style ones. I have a number of them in my archives, and it's just a format that I like. So here now is my countdown of the Reality TV show Battles I would like to see the most.

5). The Real Housewives of Orange County vs. The Real Housewives of NYC: I saw the commercials for OC, and I thought these women were vile. I was convinced they were all talk, big-spending trophy wives. This is true to a point, but the richest women on that show make their own cash. Their husbands are living off them. The NYC crew is much more petty, with a debutant's sense of entitlement. I think the women in OC win this round.

4). Ghost Hunters vs. Paranormal State: I like both of these shows a great deal. There is a cetain level of requirement to suspend your disbelief in both cases. Ryan and Grant with the TAPS team (GH) presume all supernatural experiences to be false until proven true. This level of skepticism lends credibility to their investigation. Ryan and the Paranormal Research Society (PSU) does very introspective background research into the history of a scenario. What they uncover can be absolutely chilling. Fascinating, but chilling. While I really enjoy both shows, I like the tinacity with which Ryan's team approaches their investigations. PSU wins, but just barely.

3). Deadliest Catch vs. Ice Road Truckers: If you've seen Deadliest Catch even once and aren't addicted to it, you either watched the wrong show, or are lying. I love the peril, the attitudes, the tempers, and the payoffs. Ice Road Truckers, likewise dangerous. But with all due respect to those guys, it doesn't stack up to the possibility of being swept over a rail or crushed by a swinging pot. (A crab pot, not cooking utensil) Both groups of guys have guts, no doubt. I couldn't do either job I don't think. But the edge in danger along with the massive payoff for the crab fisherman gives them the win.

2). Top Chef vs. Hell's Kitchen: I love to cook, so this is a showdown I have to see. I would love to see Chef Tom Collichio grab 1 contestant from each season, and Gordon Ramsey do the same. And then, have a cullinary throwdown Iron Chef style to determine who's the best. As for the shows, let's see now; I like the real cooking scenarios provided by Chef Ramsey in Hell's Kitchen. But I enjoy the creativity that is used by the contestants on Top Chef. Tough call... but I think I like Top Chef a bit more.

1). Human Weapon vs. Fight Quest: What better way to celebrate the posturing nature of Americans by sending a few guys around the world to get an ass whupin' laid on them by guys half their size? By starting the show Human Weapon where Bill and Jason try to learn a martial art in a week's time and then fight someone who's been doing it for years. And what better way to assure continued immaturity? Grab Jimmy and Doug and do it all again on Fight Quest. The shows are a virtual cloning of one another. Human Weapon came first and examines some of the physical properties of what key moves work so well in different disciplines. Fight Quest, however, makes both guys fight at the end of the training. I'd love to see a 4-man battle royal to see who comes out on top. They have all been a party to the same styles, so they can agree on one and have at it. Ultimately, because it came first, Human Weapon has to have the edge. But the knock out punch is that Human Weapon not only has someone battle it out, but shows why everything works the way it does.

Have a look at any or all of them.

I'm out...


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