>What? No baseball? No movies? No sermon? As I “thumb” through my blog archive on the left here, I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve written about something different than those three things. What can I say – it’s summertime. Baseball and movies are on my mind. However, in the midst of it all, I haven’t really written about anything else.

As I was recently multi-tasking… yes, that’s right, multi-tasking… I came across an article in Entertainment Weekly discussing the best and worst reality shows of all time. It gives us a list of the top 20 and the worst 10. Here’s are some of the highlights:
1. Survivor – Ah, the source of it all. Granted, MTV’s The Real World was on the air long before Survivor ever interrupted our lives (1992), but Survivor was the phenom that ushered in a new era of television, for better or (more likely) worse.
2. The Amazing Race – I’ve heard a few people say that this was actually good. I never have been able to pay attention to it. Apparently it has won six Emmys. I’m not sure what the Emmys are for, but they’ve been won.
3. The talent shows – There are seven, seven, shows on this list that are all about finding the best person at *fill-in-the-blank*. Project Runway, American Idol, Top Chef, Bands on the Run, The Apprentice, Project Greenlight, and America’s Next Top Model. If you want to know who is the best designer, singer, chef, band, business person, movie director, or…. well, person that puts up with the most self-centered woman in pop culture, then these are your shows. Strange that they make up a significant percentage of this list. Apparently, people like watching others battle it out to be the best around.
4. The Hills – Wait, reality? I thought this was scripted? Oh, I’m not supposed to know that? I’m supposed to assume that this is what real life is like for some people? No thanks, if I was interested, I would have stayed in high school.
5. Jon & Kate Plus Eight – Okay, seriously here. People are blaming the problems that they are having in their marriage on the cameras. The problem is not the cameras (they certainly don’t help, but they aren’t the main problem). The problem is that as soon as their kids were born and they were on television, their marriage was no longer about the two of them. The focus was so much on the kids that they didn’t have any time together. People grow apart when they stop focusing on each other and allow life to take them in different directions. Hire a freaking babysitter (or six) and spend some time together!
6. Flavor of Love – Wow. I mean, wow. The train-wreck that is Flavor Flav actually got his own reality show, and worse than that – the spin-offs. EW points to this show as the origin of other such trash as I Love New York and Rock of Love. At least we know who to blame, now, why is it included as one of the best?
And for the worst… wait, didn’t we just review that list….
1. The Swan – Yeah, plastic surgery! Let’s teach people that instead of being happy with who you are, you can change your appearance through a few simple, painful procedures. That’s so much easier than building healthy self-esteem.
2. Britney and Kevin: Chaotic – Is there really any question as to what happened to Britney Spears? This show could have been subtitled – Chronicling the Melt-Down of a Pop Princess.
3. Results shows – Funny how the originals are on the top list, but the results are on the bottom. I guess we really don’t care who is the top *fill-in-the-blank*.
4. Skating with Celebrities – This is just emblematic of a greater disease. All of these reality shows focusing on celebrities are just ridiculous. The point of reality television in the first place was that anybody had a shot at becoming a star. Not the case any more. Now, reality television is like B-list and lower exposure for celebrities whose careers are circling the drain. Need another example? How about The Surreal Life?
5. Kill Reality – Best idea yet. How did this one end up on the worst list?
I don’t know if I fully understand America’s fascination with reality television. In all honesty, I’ve watched a few of these. The one that I’ve probably watched the most is Top Chef. What can I say? I like food. The sad thing is waiting to see what they’ll come up with next.
So, what do you think? Is it only a matter of time before we get America’s Best Circus Performer? Or Top Zookeeper? Or will reality television disappear before it comes to that?