Thursday, January 08, 2004

The Siren Song of "Reality" TV

I'm a little curious about the new NBC show The Apprentice, although I generally run screaming from reality shows. Can they make greed as dramatic and compelling as sex is on every other reality show? Maybe. As a vice, greed is the one contender to challenge greed in popularity.

On the other hand, the reason I avoid this kind of show is that they're always hopelessly contrived to present people at their absolute worst. Rarely do we learn anything of value, or even anything very interesting. But the lure of watching a flock of type-A personalities suffer public humiliation is something I might not make an effort to resist. Slate's Dennis Cass says: "Finally, a show that captures two of the least savory aspects of having a job: busting your ass for no apparent reason, and sucking up to a boss whose status you can never attain."

I'm torn, obviously. The clincher for me may turn out to be sheer necessity. Who has time for this stuff?


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