Wednesday, August 09, 2006


At the gym last night I was walking on the treadmill and watching House; the woman on the treadmill next to me was watching Fear Factor, or that's what I assume it was. I was trying desperately not to look over at it. That's a hard thing to do, though. It's like telling someone not to think of an elephant--you just really can't help it. And I normally look around anyway, of course, just to see what's going on, particularly during commercials.

Not last night, though. I kept my eyes firmly on the television in front of me. How can people watch stuff like that? Why do they want to? It's a complete mystery to me; I'll never understand it. I don't even want to know about it.

Although I don't watch reality tv (except for What Not to Wear, which doesn't really count), I can sort of understand the trainwreck factor of some of them. They embarrass me and make me feel uncomfortable for the most part, and some of them are so stupid that if I happen across one, I turn it off in disgust, but Fear Factor takes disgust to a whole new level. How can that be enjoyable? Anyway . . .

And yes, I know that House can be disgusting sometimes, too, but it's in small increments, and I can look away (although not last night!). And of course, it's not that I really even care about the medical parts of it, strangely; it's the human relationships that interest me (I imagine that's a woman thing).

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Logtar said...

Cool that you listen to Los Lonely Boys, they have great music.

Well, I am a male and while I am not a reality TV junkye I do enjoy Fear Factor and so does my wife. Human relationships is what a lot of reality TV relies on, people interacting with each other and most importantly capturing conflict. Fear factor digs on people's natural aversion to many things.

I guess you really did not want to know much about this but, I thought I would comment.

Willa said...

Yeah, the conflict is a lot of why I don't want to watch reality tv -- conflict makes me uncomfortable and I can't understand why people want to watch other people fight or argue or watch other people be humiliated, but to each his own. I know everyone is different, and obviously a LOT of people like to watch these shows.

I can sort of understand it intellectually, but I absolutely do NOT understand the appeal of a show like Fear Factor. Is it entertainment? I guess it is, to some people, but there are some things that I don't want in my head, and that's one of them. :)

Judy said...

i'm with you on not liking most reality tv. the only ones i've liked somewhat are the ones where the people actually creat something - like the interior design one,

and my husband loves project runway just because the people actually make something new every week, so he finally got me to watch it this time around and i have to admit it's fun to see what they come up with (but i can't stand the snotty fashionista judges).

Yvonne Hernandez said...

I kinda have the same thing with "Nip/Tuck" that you have with "House." To me, the medical and surgery stuff is not nearly as interesting as the relationships between characters. I'm not as squeamish as I thought I'd be, but there are still surgery scenes where I have to look away.

"Fear Factor" is a gross show. I can't imagine being so desperate for money that I'd go on there!

Arlyn said...

There's a sort of human-overcoming-adversity aspect to Fear Factor that is interesting: how do people steel themselves to do something difficult or even dangerous in order to achieve a goal. However, there's a deeper element that disturbs me more than the overt gross-out factor. There's something really debased about luring people into harming themselves for any type of perceived profit. I really wonder what we're telling ourselves and our kids about the value of our/their lives and physical bodies when we put before their consideration people subjecting themselves to puncturing, "mild" poisoning, etc. for money. $50,000 is such a paltry sum, but I can't think of an amount of money that would make it alright to do that to anyone, even yourself.