More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a major category that came of age in the aughts: Reality shows.
While I would never call myself a reality TV junkie, it really bugs me when people make blanket statements like, "I hate reality TV," or, "Reality TV is the bane of my existence." The genre has grown so much in the past decade that it has become just like scripted television, in that there's good and there's bad. Even though we're splitting this up into two lists, "Reality," and "Trashy Reality," you won't see a single show that starts with, "Who Wants to Marry" on either list.
This list is dedicated not to the guilty pleasures, but to the shows that you wouldn't be embarrassed for your neighbors to know you watch: the classy reality, if you will. So without further ado, here is TV Squad's list of the best reality shows of the decade.
Whether we like it or not, the '00s introduced us to a new form of celebrity: the reality star. In previous decades, the closest we got to this were especially entrancing personalities from MTV's Real World. These people gained fame for acting like well-crafted exaggerations of their real selves.
Faster than you can say, "I didn't come here to make friends," networks picked up on the public's fascination with reality TV like Survivor and they pushed it to the popularity that it has reached today. Now, reality shows barely reflect what happens in normal people's lives but are generally more like high-concept game shows or extremely scripted improvs. But people keep watching, because the personalities are big and captivating.
Yup. Strategic footage editing does wonders. Here are some of our personal favorites from the genre, but feel free to comment with your own worthy additions!
The show's intro was probably the best new reality opening theme of the past year. The only other reality theme I could remember was Stylista's and only because it was a pastiche of girly shopping.
A history of reality television (part three): Big Brothers, Amazing Races and naked castaways - VIDEOS
The summer of 2000 started out to be a typical one for television: repeats, theatrical movies edited for television, repeats, shows that needed to be burned off because they were so bad, and repeats. It was a formula that hadn't really changed for the Big Three networks in several years. And, it was one that viewers had gotten used to as they mourned the last episode of their favorite series and waited with eagerness for the new season to begin in September.
Then, something happened. CBS decided to air a 'game show' about a group of strangers stranded on a tropical island. Survivor began at the end of May and continued into the end of August. Along the way it gained more and more fans and produced more and more publicity for both the show and the network. By the last episode, on August 23rd, Survivor had become a huge success as well as one of the highest rated original shows ever to air in the summer.
Little did CBS know that this summer replacement show would begin the Reality Revolution and change the landscape of network television forever more.
ABC announced the final four cast members on Friday:
Liz: Age 60, Retired, from Whitefish, MT
Marcie: Age 31, Stay-at-home mom, from Corona, CA (pictured to the left)
Alex: Age 31, Musician, from Haverford, PA
Craig: Age 30, Graphic Designer, San Diego, CA
Click here for a full list of The Mole's cast.
When we opened TV Squad's mail bag today, we found this question from Robyn S.: "Am I losing it or am I seeing subliminal messages on ABC like "The Mole is watching you" and "The Mole is coming"? Quick, 2-3 second flashes after commercials. Is The Mole coming back this summer?"
Robyn, you'll be happy to know that you are not losing it, ABC's The Mole is indeed coming back to TV this summer.
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