I don’t often watch television. Every few years the cable goes off for a year or two because it’s not a necessity for us. I am rarely interested in weekly drama or comedy shows. I prefer to watch reality TV. From documentaries such as DiCaprio’s Before The Flood, or The Great British Baking Show, to MTV’s The Challenge and an old favorite, Forensic Files. While watching other fiction TV shows (and I realize there are scripts in all of the above shows), I often lose myself in my analyses of the writers’ dialogue and plots. I find that life has a way with words that cannot be emulated.
When I am not feeling my best, mentally or physically, I like to turn on a “trashy TV show,” as my mother calls them. I like to watch others struggle to find answers or cooperate with people that are different from them. I like to think that I can learn a lot from the mistakes or triumphs of the people on these TV shows.
Whether I am absorbing valuable information or not, I relax when I watch reality TV. Sometimes I get up from the couch feeling refreshed, knowing more about myself than I did when I sat down. There is value in forgetting what you know and watching others display their mental and physical talents.
From The Great British Bake-off I have learned that competition can be friendly, and a soggy bottom is enemy number one in the kitchen. From Before the Flood I learned that there is reason to be optimistic, but solutions must be worked out now. From MTV’s The Challenge, I have learned a lot about team-building and how difficult running through a desert can be. And of course, you can pick up a lot from Forensic Files, one tip being to lock your doors at all times.
Whatever you learn, it’s okay to watch reality TV. Some may call it “trashy,” or “depressing” in the case of climate change documentaries, but I find a value in this kind of entertainment. Often, I simply zone out for a little bit, but once in a while I pick up a gem.