The Candid Guide to Reality Television

    Well it’s that time again; time to delve into another American cultural invention, the reality TV series. And if you know anything about television you know that it’s all about the ratings. So just in case you thought you had a great idea for a show but the networks have turned you down and you’ve decided to do it yourself the Candid Guide is here to help you on your long and epic path to your fifteen minutes.

    So let’s get right into it. The singularly most important part to all of this is: You need beautiful people. Just because it’s “reality” doesn’t mean the media, the greatest influence on today’s society, should lower its standards. Sure you can have casting calls, and accept video interviews or what not, but you already know who you want and who will make it. Luckily you can leave this basic, yet crucial filtering to the interns. Should you need help in creating a standard for your casting look no further than The Bachelor or The Real World or even the modest and restrained America’s Next Top Model for inspiration.

    There are usually only two types of reality TV shows, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, or extraordinary people doing ordinary things. It began with Survivor and it continues with Celebrity Big Brother. If you have an idea for a show that doesn’t fit in either of those two categories than it’s no wonder the network execs didn’t listen to you. Now if however you’ve got something truly original, and better yet, controversial than you may be on to something. Take Kid Nation for example, nothing tickles water cooler discussions more than leaving 40 kids alone in the desert to establish a new society from scratch. Personally I would have found it more entertaining to leave these 40 kids in a Chinese sweatshop and see how long they last but maybe that’s just me.

    And just in case things don’t work out you can always resort to the ever classic large group of beautiful women vying for one handsome lucky man. There have been dozens of these albeit each with their slight twists and deviations, and they have proven especially successful almost every time (how about one where the man must avoid kissing any of the girls otherwise a kitten will be killed and the girls can’t know or the kitten will be killed anyways).

    Seriously though, reality TV is here to stay and although many lament what they call the degradation of American television and subsequently our culture it is in fact inevitable, the basic laws of thermodynamics teach us that all must eventually deteriorate until there is only chaos and entropy. And hey, if you can’t beat em… well you know the rest.


  1. Pretty ,much the only American reality series I like is the amazing race

  2. Normally i blame everything on the Yanks. It's a sort of default setting. But really, reality TV has to be blamed on the Dutch. I know MTV did a few things involve sulky teenagers, but the real reality TV kickstart came from Big Brother (the dutch TV show not the Orwellian masterpiece). The whole "lets fill the tabloids and earn millions from text voting about people getting drunk and having sex" phenomenon came from our friends with the windmills. On reflection that is a very dutch approach - drugs and sex.


Mini Candid #11

Mini-candids are small Candid Guides updated more frequently than the main guide. They can be video, photo, or just one or two sentences.

Mini-Candid #11: How to Ride a Segway