Why I Watch Reality TV

My husband likes reality TV shows.  I’m not such a fan of them  They don’t seem “real” to me.  The contestants know they are performing before a camera and whatever they do and say is carefully edited  before it ever appears on TV.

There are a few reality TV shows we enjoy watching together.  A few years ago, we followed Canada’s Worst Driver and Canada’s Worst Handyman. I found those shows funny because they involved things that people should be able to do (especially in the driving case) and are really bad at.  We like The Amazing Race for the places contestants travel and the way they have to work as teams to complete the tasks.  Recently, we finished watching The Voice (I was rooting for Dia Frampton or Vicki Martinez).

However, as I thought about watching reality TV shows, I realized that it’s about more than just the show.  It’s about doing something together.  We both like watching movies, but if I want to do something together with my husband, I’m more likely to suggest something else—a walk or a game or a project around the house—where we can talk to each other while we’re doing it.  Dinner and movie dates work for me because we can talk before we go to the movie.

Some evenings, though, by the time he gets home from work and we have supper and he goes to the gym and I put the girls to bed and we watch a movie because we’re both too tired to do anything else and then we go to bed, I feel like we haven’t connected that day.  We haven’t talked.  Sure, we had the “how was your day” and “what did you do today” chat, but we didn’t share opinions or ideas or anything like that.

Reality TV shows let us talk.  We can compare notes on whose singing/danging/driving we like best or worst and why.  We can talk about the costumes and the competitors and the show and the music.  We can agree or disagree with the judges’ comments or the contestants’ choices.  And I like that.

I watch reality TV shows because it’s a way to connect with my husband.

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