chemaccino good, but not good for you

Sunday, July 10, 2005
The New Reality (Show)
There are two types of reality television that I enjoy:
1. bitchy, high-stakes job competitions
2. displaced well-meaning people trying to learn about a foreign culture through immersion.

Of the first type, ANTM and Project Runway are good examples, and of the second, all the PBS '_____ House' series are good examples.
Today I watched an episode of "30 Days", a show that fits squarely into the second category. As with the PBS programs, I was struck by the intensity of the participant's well-meaning-ness. Here was this guy Dave, very into his Christianity, really trying hard to be true to the project and to gain the experience of being a Muslim for 30 days. I mean, he doesn't just forego pork, he takes lessons in Arabic so he can gaina fuller understanding. I was very impressed by his well-meaning-ness. It's nice when reality television shows me someone who I feel deserves my respect for trying so hard at something personally difficult.
Then again, it's also nice to watch models twirl their hair and bitch at each other - I guess that's what makes me a quintessential American television viewer.

On another note, today my mother returned home from the trip she was chaperoning in London. She told me that the flight home was the first time she's ever been truly afraid on a plane, which is saying something considering how many times in the past five years she's flown into or out of NYC.