Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | December 9, 2008

Softening My Stance: Reality TV

Since the inception of reality TV I’ve held pretty much the same party-line the entire time…“I hate reality TV.”


realitytv001When “Survivor” was forced upon the world in 2000 it ushered in a whole new era of crappy television. Gone were the days of witty, insightful sitcoms and dramas. Instead television executives realized that they could draw huge ratings and spend a fraction of the cash if they produced reality TV to fill their timeslots. No need to hire talented actors and writers when you can stick a bunch of fame-craving freaks in an enclosed space filled with cameras.


As a result of this bias, I’ve rarely dabbled in the world of reality TV. Sure I’ve stuck my toes in and swished ‘em around a bit, but nothing substantial. I can say I’ve had a total of five legit reality TV experiences.


1) The Real World: Las Vegas


As a freshman in college, I was young and willing to experiment. As such, I stumbled into reality TV and thought maybe I should give it a chance, I mean seriously, I’d never watched reality TV outside of northwest Iowa. Maybe it would be better at college. Maybe it wouldn’t feel so awful. Nope, it still did.


Note: This was the season that unleashed Trishelle upon the world.


2) WWE/WWF: Tough Enough: Season One


Basically it was a show where a bunch of nobodies got the opportunity to get piss-pounded by a bunch of pro wrestlers and in the end two of them would win contracts and become professional curtain-jerkers in Vince McMahon’s legion of broken bodies and ‘roid-addled freaks.


3) Nashville Star: Season Six


I think there is a general rule in the age of reality television that if you know someone competing on the show, by default you need to watch. As such, I watched Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School alumnus Shawn Mayer kick some ass and finish in third place this past summer.


4) American Gladiators: January 2008


I loved the original AG and had intended to audition for the revamped 2008 version. A collapsed lung kept me from competing and a rather boring format and duo of lame-hosts kept me from watching regularly. I do, however, have to admit that I am madly in love with Crush (aka: Gina Carano of MMA fame).


5) America’s Next Top Model


I don’t know which “Cycle” I watched. I don’t know the names of any of the chicks who were on the show. I don’t have any good excuse for watching. Essentially it was on Wednesday nights before Veronica Mars on the CW and I was living with two chicks. There is a proven scientific theory that if a man and two chicks are in an apartment one of two scenarios will take place.


Scenario 1: All parties involved will take place in a crazy tequila-induced threesome.

Scenario 2: “America’s Next Top Model” will be watched and the man will be slowly, but surely, emasculated.


In my case it was the latter.




Where am I going with this rambling you ask, dear Faithful Reader. Well let me tell you.


A little over a month ago, while sitting in a hotel room in Bismarck, North Dakota, I stumbled upon a piece of the reality TV pie that didn’t make me want to vomit. In fact, I found it to be quite intriguing, thus completely making me question my overall hatred of all reality TV.


The show was VH1’s “The Pick-Up Artist 2.” Essentially it had the single greatest premise of any reality show to date. A pack of nerdy dudes, outright losers and life-long virgins are packed into a fancy-looking pad and are taught the art of “wooing women” pickupartist0011to determine who will become the new “Pick-Up Artist.”




Nothing says awesome television like watching a bunch of socially-awkward dudes being thrown to the lion’s den that is a night club teeming with hot chicks, sorority sisters and good ole fashioned hoochie-mamas.


In the first episode (which–despite the awesome premise–is probably the only one I’ll ever see) all of the dudes strike out and strike out bad. It even looks like a few of them crap their pants in the process of merely trying to talk to the ladies. Now that’s entertainment!!


Afterwards the V-Squad is told to watch and learn as the show’s host/coach/creepy sex-offender, “Mystery,” and his wing-man, “Matador,” show them how real men work it in the club. Granted it’s a little unfair because “Matador” is a pretty sexy dude who could get chicks if he were brain-dead and drooling all over himself. “Mystery” is kind of a freak, but is just outgoing enough and presumably just fast enough with the roofies that he can get away with it.


The two return to the nerds and are worshipped like Gods. The next day the nerds get makeovers that are a HUGE help for some and basically just a new pair of ill-fitting clothes for the others. Then one dude is voted off and the show ends.


I realize it sounds lame—and in all honesty—kind of was. However, there was something very, very entertaining in watching the train-wreck that came from these dudes trying to pick up ladies. I’m pretty sure I’ll never watch another episode—for fear of ruining this experience.


Anywho, long-story short…if you get a chance, it’s TOTALLY worth your time; if for no reason than to feel better about yourself.



  1. I like reality TV, though not in every format, because it elicits a lot of genuine human dynamics that even the best writers can’t capture. I don’t watch a ton, but like you I really enjoyed the Real World Las Vegas, though I think that Peter Brady married Adrienne Curry from America’s Next Top Model, and not Trishelle?


    • oh…you’re right, i guess i can’t ever tell any of them apart!!

      time to edit!


  2. If you like watching geeky guys interact with girls, you should watch Beauty and the Geek on the CW. 12 *profound* nerds team up with 12 *egregiously* stupid hotties to better each other, and it is hilaaaaaaaaarious and awesome but also heartwarming! And it features no one as creepy as Mystery. Who is terrifying.


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