I'm embarrassed to admit - so it's a good thing no one reads this blog - that I'm a reality tv addict. Not those survivor shows where people live on a deserted island, except for the director, producer, cameramen, soundmen and their entire tech. crew. That's not reality. Nor am I a fan of the "Please marry me cause there's nothing desperate about auctioning myself off on national tv" dating shows. That's not reality either. The ones I have a secret fetish for are the talent competitions - American Idol, Top Chef, Project Runway, Next Food Network Star, Dancing With the Stars, and occasionally America's Got Talent (at least after they've weeded out the 75-year-old hip-hop dancers and the precocious preschoolers). I love to get my family involved and make wagers on who'll survive another week, or quietly gloat when a professional chef burns his entree and mumble "See, it's not just me".
Each summer I vow to shut the tv off and devote more time to reading - which is usually a pretty simple accomplishment because there's not much on except re-runs. But even the most enticing book or beautiful day for porch reading can't keep me from being sucked back to the couch by the 21st century version of the game show.
With the invention of DVR, I can record all the shows and watch them whenever it's convenient and without commercial interruption. Did you know that you can watch a one-hour elimination episode of American Idol in under ten minutes if you skip the commercials, guest performances and hype? But this technological nirvana (don't get me started on how much I love DVR) has fed my obsession because it's so easy to keep up with multiple shows.
They say the first step is to admit you have a problem, so maybe I'm on the way to weaning myself from reality tv - but probably not. Maybe I should work on my General Hospital addiction instead.