I love watching the discovery channels.
In fact, all these years that I have been living by myself, I’ve never really watched any local TVs and have watched almost exclusively on the discovery channels (and of course, sports shows as well).
My favourite shows are the Mythbusters, Dog Whisperer, Wheeler Dealers, The Contender, Beyond the Limit, American Chopper (early seasons), Anthony Bourdain shows, A plane/car is born, and of course, ALL the cooking shows! I love them because they involve real people doing real and interesting things.
However, recently I have noticed a change in the style of these shows. They are simply becoming fake, very fake.
For example, shows like Fast & Loud, they are basically staged reality shows or probably more fittingly, soap dramas that “feel” real. The hosts often talk to the camera about a lot of the ‘trade secrets’, his negative feelings towards his clients, how he ripped off certain clients, etc. as if no one would know about it. Seriously? In front of national TV?
How about shows like Man vs Wild (or any survival show that you can think of)? The hosts often say they are alone in this middle of nowhere and there would be dangerous animals attacking them at anytime. Fine, but how about all production people together with the hosts? I know for a simple show like Take Home Chef, there are over 10 production people on site. And when Bear slides down the hill seemingly out of control, there is literally a cameraman doing exactly the same but carrying a very, very heavy production camera.
Yes, even Anthony Bourdain shows are becoming more commercial and disingenuous.
The interesting thing is, when most people enjoy these shows, we never think of all the production people around the hosts. Especially when we love the shows, we are just immersed in it. And this is totally ok – these shows are built for entertainment, not as an examination for logical thinking.
But this has kept me thinking – in our real lives, watching first hand our own reality show – how often do we jump out of our views and see all the different people around us, their perspectives, their feelings and the things that they have been doing for us?