Saturday, 26 April 2008

How Wikipedia Conquered my Reality Soap/TV Addiction

I was typing a comment on Uma's post A Bad Habit Called A Reality Soap and realised I had written a comment long enough to be a post :)

Most of the reality shows that I used to watch - I realised I was watching them because I liked seeing who would get eliminated next.

I was lucky, because most of the reality shows I watch are the American ones which come to India a couple of months after they are released in the US. So after losing a couple of hours spent unproductively watching reality shows, I realised that just checking the Wikipedia entry for that season cured me of it.

Wikipedia lets me know who got eliminated and why and who won & thats it, no longer any compulsion to watch the show. Thats because my trigger to watch most of them was the suspense and surprise.

With my location change and different seasons playing in different countries on different channels, I was getting confused with sequence of events on serials like Lost, Prison Break, Desperate Housewives. Wikipedia also helped me catch up on all the seasons of Lost with 3 hours of reading. Same for the other serials too.

Of course there are the shows like "So you think you can dance?" which I watch for the performances but I'm not too interested in the results show the next day because I know I will figure out next week who has been dropped anyway.

I used to be a huge fan of American Idol till Constantine, Latoya, Jennifer Hudson, Melinda, Daughtry consecutively kept getting out, way before their time while lesser performers were still kept on. I just stopped watching each season when my favorites got out because I no longer felt it was worth watching. Proof of the flawed voting system is that only 2 of the winners of this show in its 6 seasons - Kelly Clarkson (Season 1)and Carrie Underwood (Season 4) - have received commercial success while many of the finalists who were dropped on the side have had a better success rate. Season 7 which is currently on does not have a single finalist who seemed interesting enough for me to follow the series and Simon is now more obtuse than brilliant, so I just watch it intermittently.

With Rockstar INXS and Supernova seasons, I had slightly better luck. My favorites made it to the final 3 each season although they lost out to the person I least liked from the entire bunch both times. While I have reconsidered my opinion on J D Fortune, I still think Dilana was the best of the second bunch.

I used to love The Amazing Race till it started blurring the lines with Fear Factor. When competitors on The Amazing Race had to start eating weird stuff it grossed me out too much to follow it.

Each of my favorite reality shows/contests gave me its own reason to stop me from being addicted and obsessing about watching it on time every week. The downside is that I seem to have replaced it with an addiction to Wikipedia.

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