Reality vs. Non-Reality TV


Woo! Go Team X-Tina!

So, how long did that take before I finally got into the new season of The Voice? In fact, I was prepared to tune out the rest of the season because I had found a new viewing interest on Monday nights.

Perhaps I just needed to wait for the live shows (which I missed part of Monday night on account of my new viewing interests). Tuesday’s show – from the opening ballad with Christina and members of her team to the closing singout and contemporary spin of Nina Simone’s “I Put a Spell On You” – was pure talent gold!

Confession Time: “I Put a Spell On You” is a song I would kill to hear a David spin! 😛

So, what has been distracting me from the reality TV competition overkill?

Two words: Sleepy Hollow! (See above pic)

Starring Nicole Beharie, it’s one of those crazy time-traveling supernatural and biblical tales mixed with your typical detective mystery show. It’s an absolute hoot! Except when some of its more occultist images seeped into my subconscious and gave me a really creepy dream last night.

Between Sleepy Hollow on Fox and American Horror Story: Coven on F/X Wednesday nights, not to mention AMC’s Walking Dead zombie thriller, I gotta ask: What’s up with all these supernatural shows?

Ghosts, witches, and zombies! Oh My!

Another two words: Reality TV.

Think about it: After decades-long bombardment of all sorts of reality programming, while scripted TV shows were on the wane, isn’t it curious and interesting that these supernatural dramas started popping up?

I’m just completely fascinated by this turn of televised events, a wonderful reminder that, sometimes fantasy, myths, and unreality is perfect entertainment.

Granted, they had to get downright spooky just to get our attention away from shows like The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, and X-Factor. Check out the opening credits to American Horror: Coven:

Chill-inducing and demonic looking, isn’t it?

Not to worry! It’s all kinds of fun, campy, bizarre, and over-the-top in its intertwining of history and the present. Trust: after the harrowing viewing of 12 Years a Slave, I’m very comfortable entertaining a character like Marie Leveau who uses voodoo spells to raise the dead and seek justice against racial violence.  Angela Bassett’s portrayal of this historical figure is all kinds of amazing!  A woman who never ages while hiding her real powers behind being a beauty salon owner? Heh.


So many subversive plots about women’s power and the history of our nation.

Anyway, I was so certain I’d be tuning out from reality competitions until tonight’s episode of The Voice. And then I remembered why I liked the show (and why I became enamored with the likes of David Archuleta). If the reality of talent is on display (whether it’s the genuine makings of a star or the genuine capability of  a creative storyline), I’m in regardless of how “real” or “unreal” the program I’m watching.

What are you watching on TV lately?


Posted on November 5, 2013, in current trends. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. A couple of years ago, we took a walking tour of New Orleans cemeteries, which included the burial vault of Marie Leveau. It was very weird–people drew red x’s all over the vault, despite being told not to, and they left offerings, consisting of trash, like booze bottles and cigarettes. It was so gross. :/

    • Oops. It wasn’t me….

    • Actually, those are Vodou ritual practices – red x’s are spiritual symbols, and booze bottles and cigarettes are “offerings,” believe it or not. Vodou, contrary to what whites thought, is basically an integration of Catholic and African religious rituals. Of course, one wouldn’t know that, what with the way it had become so demonized (even in a show like American Horror Story: Coven).

  2. The creater/producer of Glee- Ryan Murphy- is also the creater/producer of American Horror Story. Talk about 2 entirely different shows. lol. I still watch many reality shows but I watch other shows like Scandal. I loved Breaking Bad but it is over. I don’t really like Walking Dead or shows like that but obviously that show has many fans. I have to believe younger viewers like these shows. I watch and like The Voice. I also watch the news show- CNN HLN ect. Not FOX. lol. I do like the on demand feature on my cable as I can watch shows later on or on the weekend.

  3. I’m going to be the oddball, but I’ll share. Reality TV for me this season: DWTS, Top Chef, Survivor. I do watch Glee, also. Other than those and a spattering of other (mostly) cooking shows, I’m more of a movie addict. My library subscribes to a service where I can rent movies, online, for free. I recently watched “Bliss,” an indie film out of Turkey about a young woman on the run from her family after she’s raped and thus, considered dishonorable. Riveting. Reminds me of how very differently some cultures live.

  4. Thank you Hg for the great post. I do still watch some reality tv. I watch DWTS, SYTYCD cooking show competitions, design show competitions, such as Project Runway. I must confess though that I do enjoy recording them all and being able to skip the drama parts and just watch, the dance, the fashion show, etc. Other than that I watch comedies, old movies and the history channel. My guilty pleasure is watching fashion police, again even though Joan Rivers gets raunchy at times, she is really funny to me and I really like seeing the fashions. I’m sure that horror show are done well, but I don’t like that type of shows, I still cringe, close my eye when I watch a movie that has some of that kind of stuff, lol.

  5. Masters of Sex on Showtime
    It’s about Masters and Johnson and the research they did on human sexual response which was highly scandalous in that era. Michael Sheen(Aro from Twilight) plays Bill Masters.

  6. I’ve been watching football, news and cooking shows. I love the Food network’s “Chopped”. I also try to catch all of TV Ones “Unsung” where-are-they-now shows. I’m like CQ, I can’t take horror and thriller types of shows. I’ll have to check out what JenA is watching. 😉

  7. HG-I didnt know if you read that four Hollywood directors/producers have bumped multi-million dollar movies they were going to relaese this year to 2014 due to the immense popularity of 12 Years a Slave & Gravity. (Both movies you reviewed) They didnt want to compete with the popularity or loose out on a bid for an Academy Award.

  8. I do watch and enjoy Survivor, The Voice, Project Runway, also enjoy House Hunters,(HGTV) especially International, I get to visit via TV all the places I will more then likely never get to visit in person. And my new obsession “Blacklist” with James Spader. The man is an acting genius.

    • Blacklist is the only series I will work my schedule around. James Spader is my obsession since way back. Can’t wait for this next episode! A secret to be revealed. lol

      I didn’t think Gravity was all that great. I like subtle character development but I felt the script was lacking and so then the acting was just not believable. jmo

  9. Watch DWTS Monday, Castle following Voice Tuesday, Lots of sports, American Idol when it comes on.

  10. Josh Groban guesting on “The Crazy Ones”. I had not seen that but I am curious about his acting abilities. Maybe someone will watch and report back on it.

    I wonder if David would consider doing a guest spot on a popular show other than SYTYCD when he gets back. That would help people know he is back without too much of a time commitment.

    • Meant to say DWTS not SYTYCD. David will find that people will remember him and want to know more. I feel like I am getting ahead of myself but just can’t help it.

  11. Big Bang Theory, New Girl, The Mindy Project (and Vanilla Ice Goes Amish)

  12. Speaking of Reality Shows, on the Biggest Loser Ruben Studdard was sent home on Tuesday. He lost the least amount of weight, so he was sent packing. Hope that he continues his healthy weight loss journey at home. He will be back for the finale so it will be interesting to see a slimmer Ruben.

    Now, it will be interesting to see if this gig for Ruben will revive his career, hum…I’ll have to keep tabs on that. I do think he has a nice voice, but have not bought any of his music. Actually the only artist that I have bought everything that he has produced has been David, lol.
    I know that some fans, including me think that it would help David to be part of a Reality Show, so we’ll see if being on the Biggest Loser will help Ruben’s career.
    Actually I want David to go only on DWTS, yes as a contestant, for pure selfish reasons..I would get to see him on tv every week because I think he would not be sent home early…too much charisma and besides, the MAN CAN DANCE!!!!

    • Yes my selfish dream is that David would be a contestant on DWTS too. It’s because I enjoy the show and, yes, CQ, David can dance.

      I watch way too much T.V. I love anything music and dancing related plus like the Food network and the History channel. I also love a good mystery. Can’t say that I get into the horror stuff though. I have just gotten through the first season of Downton Abby. Just love it so far.

      It would be fun to see David on one of the cooking shows. He does love to eat. Maybe he has learned some cooking on his mission. He could make one of the Chilean hot dogs with all the toppings.

  13. watch The Voice, XFactor, Glee, and DWTS.. would love for David to go on any of them.

  14. I tape The Walking Dead, Blacklist, Scandal, the daytime soap General Hospital and of course The Voice, Then I watch them during the weekend. The only other “reality shows” I watch now & then are SYTYCD and America’s Got Talent. I watch movies when I get the chance too.

    I don’t think David would ever agree to be a contestant on DWTS. He would be required to put his hands on his partner’s bare skin & I just can’t see him ever doing that. One can dream though, right? Who knows though? Perhaps he will surprise us yet again. He’s so unpredictable. However, I do think he would jump at the chance to be a guest performer on he show or on any reality show for that matter. Let’s hope his team will work hard to make it happen.

    I’ll have to check out Sleepy Hollow. Hopefully I can access the episodes I’ve already missed. I have heard it’s very good even before HG’s review.

  15. Thanks desertrat-that is the same article.

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