Once upon a time, before I married Adam, I eschewed reality shows as the (mostly) mindless foolishness they are. I saw how the landscape of television had changed since the advent of Survivor and I wasn't impressed.
I can't recall exactly when I discovered that Adam is a bit of a reality series junkie. It may not have been until after we were married. He likes Survivor, American Idol, The Apprentice, Hell's Kitchen, The Bachelor, and probably a dozen more that I can't recall just now. I scoffed. But then I started sitting down to take a look at some of them.
Now, I still can't stand The Bachelor or Survivor, but I'll actually sit contentedly through an episode or two of The Apprentice, and Hell's Kitchen can be quite a bit of fun. I used to watch American Idol regularly before Adam started working nights (and my favorite judges all left the show).
I'll even confess through a sheepish blush that I've actually been counting down the days until Dancing with the Stars came back on for their 14th season, which is only 3 or 4 more than I've watched. The season premier aired last night. I haven't seen it yet, because Adam had to work, so we'll be watching it tonight on Hulu.
I'm not entirely sure what the appeal of the show is. I just find something refreshing about watching usually-pampered celebrities having to work at something that (amazingly, every season) is so much harder than they were expecting. Nobody really wins anything--there's not a cash prize or a charity donation or anything more than a goofy trophy and the privilege of saying, "I won."
It's purely entertainment. Then again, maybe that's what's so appealing. No one has their life changed with a huge influx of cash or a dream job, yet almost everybody talks about how being a part of the experience taught them something about themselves they'd never known before. And if that's not enough, there are lots of sparkly costumes every week.
And, I mean really, what could be more fun that watching macho football players becoming self-actualized while dressed in hot pink sequins?