I’ve spent the majority of the past two months awake and breastfeeding a restless newborn. The times I’ve been just too exhausted to read or do anything constructive (which has been almost all of the time) I’ve resorted to watching TV. A lot of it. And most of it has been reality tv, or “supposed” reality TV, as a few shows have made me wonder:
1). Beyond Scared Straight. Among my list of things that get me rankled are ungrateful, disobedient, disrespectful teenagers. I watch this show and just want to reach through the TV and throttle these kids. I acknowledge it’s hard to say how you’d react until you’re in the situation but I’d like to think I won’t be the coddling or roll-over type. I’m a fan of the idea of letting kids learn things the hard way and giving them a cold, hard dose of reality. If my child does something to land themselves in jail, I’m inclined to leave them there and let them suffer the consequences. So the idea behind this show is right up my alley, but I’m not sold on its execution. It’s basically officers rounding up wayward teens and yelling in their faces for a few hours, and then the kids take off the prison uniform and walk out with their parents to go back home. I’m sorry, but what exactly did we just accomplish here? If I were a teen, that wouldn’t have had any effect on me whatsoever. I would have walked out, laughed, and continued doing whatever mischief I had been up to. Seems to me you might get a better outcome if the teens really get to see what it’s like. I think they should stay in jail for like a week or at least a one night minimum. Spoiled, entitled children shouldn’t take too long to break, one night would probably be sufficient enough time to have them crying for mommy.
2) Arranged. I actually quite like this show. I’m drawn to shows that focus on marriage and the merging of lives together. And this one is pretty interesting for the most part. I’m just a little confused over it, is all. The only couple that truly seems to be “arranged” is the young couple Christian and Maria, who really didn’t know one another prior to their parents arranging their nuptials and them meeting on their wedding night. But the other couples weren’t exactly what one could call “strangers”. Josh and Meghan met and had a two-year engagement. Ragini and Veeral established a relationship after meeting on an online dating website. They did seek their parents approval before moving forward with marriage and would not have done so without their blessing, but that still doesn’t seem like an “arrangement” in the truest sense of the word. But whatever. It’s still a fairly thoughtful and entertaining show as far as “reality TV” goes.
3) Undercover Boss. This one is a feel-good, heartwarming, pull-at-the-heartstrings kind of show, and it has even made me shed a tear a time or two. But it’s still questionable. To begin with, what is up with these “disguises” that they put these CEOs in? More oft than not, the women are in these bouffant wigs, cat-eye glasses, and garish makeup and clothing, and the men in shaggy mullet wigs, 70s porn mustaches, and gold chain necklaces. They look absolutely ridiculous and would immediately make me think “Ok, this must be some kind of prank.” The CEOs usually give their “trainers” a similar story for why a camera crew is following them around, generally because they are on a reality tv show competing for a job. It’s a believable enough story, that is, until lunch hour. That’s when the undercover CEO sits with the unsuspecting employee and starts asking them endless questions about their life and family. And the employee almost always has some harrowing story about a sick relative, taking in their nephews, or lost fortunes. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’ve trained people at work, we tend to go our own separate ways at break time; we don’t usually eat together. But even if we did, I almost certainly would not be sharing such personal, intimate details of whatever financial or health crises my family was currently experiencing. And yet they all do this after just two hours of meeting. Why doesn’t it strike the employee as weird that this new person is supposed to be the one being featured on a tv show, yet they’re digging and asking the employee so many personal questions on camera? I watch this like, ” They have to know!” But, scripted or not, ultimately it’s a show about generosity and helping people, and there are certainly worse themes one could spend their time watching.