Friday, July 18, 2008

(Dis)-Reality TV

These days reality television dominates the airwaves. Dancing With The Stars, American Idol and America's Got Talent seem to horde conversation, coverage, and water-cooler chatter. I only watch two reality programs: American Idol/The Mole.

When thinking about why I like American Idol, it is easy to understand why other people do. The shock value of watching someone get ridiculed to their face is something most of us are not used to. We were taught as children to wait until someone has left the room or turned the corner until unleasing a verbal assault on that person. Watching Simon Cowell brand someone as "weird" or "cabaret" is something some of us have always wanted to do to people in our lives but our manners stepped in.

I watch the Mole because of the riddles and mindwork inside the game. If you are not familiar with the Mole there are 12 characters competing to win a cash prize but one is secretly deceiving the players and trying to keep the pot as small as possible. The object of the game is to figure out who that person is and you win the prize. Mensa has rated the Mole the "smartest" show on television (not to brag) and lauds its intellectually stimluating storyline.

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