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October 9, 2015

Reality shows for people who hate reality shows

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 26th 2009 1:04PM
So You Think You Can DanceI'm not a fan of reality shows. I know that's not a bold statement to make, and that reality shows are a fairly easy target. But I think they're boring after the first episode, for the most part. You pretty much know how it goes from there. Which one of the needy, self-esteem deficient bachelorettes the arrogant bachelor ends up with doesn't interest me (nor the opposite - which arrogant idiot catches the fancy of the bachelorette). Talent shows are usually just as bad, preying on their contestants' desperate need for recognition, and with wildly erratic and cynical judging.

So it's a surprise to me that there are two reality shows I actually do enjoy. There is The Amazing Race on CBS, which is currently in between seasons, and So You Think You Can Dance, which is in the beginning third on Fox. Generally, I don't feel stupid watching these two shows. I don't feel like I'm wasting my time. In fact, every once in a while, I feel like I'm learning something.

Yes, the situations are contrived in The Amazing Race, but the cameras are still on the streets in a lot of places I wouldn't see unless I were watching the Travel Channel or National Geographic (which both have some good shows, too). Seeing how Americans behave in other countries can be enlightening. There are a lot of great examples of what not to do, and a few times a season, that inspiring team that gets it, and appreciates the privilege they've been given to see the world.

So You Think You Can Dance is more surprising to me. I'm a doughy nerd, by classification, and I know nothing about dance (it was a relief to me that there were only a couple of required dances at my own wedding reception). If you are reading this and actually do know something about dance, then my appreciation for this show may seem naïve. But all I know right now about any form of dance - contemporary, hip hop, ballroom - basically comes from watching this show. I had no real appreciation for the artform before, but after watching a couple of seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, I found something that interests me. I also think the judges are more sincere than many other shows, and actually seem to have some interest in nurturing the contestants.

True, my appreciation for dance is probably immeasurably shallow at this point (again, I bow to anyone who has actually studied or performed in the field). But I have found a rudimentary way of processing what I'm seeing when I watch people dance, and a respect for the strength and determination of the people who pursue it as a profession. And all of that because of a reality show.

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I think this is the 5th season of SYTYCD. I started watching during season 2 when Benji won, then there was Sabre the following year and Joshua last year. Lot of good stuff on Youtube from previous years.

June 29 2009 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Couldn't agree more. I don't like reality series, with the exception of The Amazing race (indeed, get to see places you otherwise wouldn't), So you think you can dance (and I don't have a single dance gene in my body), and I also really like Little people big World.
I also watch Deadliest catch, and Supernanny. Oh, and I watched 10 minutes of The hills once too.. does that count?

June 27 2009 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

at least brett favre isnt involved in this show


June 26 2009 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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