I make quilts. While I sew, I enjoy various media. Sometimes it’s radio, sometimes it’s a podcast. A lot of the time it’s junky television via the Internet.
There is lots of great, game-changing television out there. I don’t watch it. It takes too much focus. (I can’t watch Mad Men and sew patchwork; it’s unfair to Don Draper and unfair to my quarter-inch seam.) Instead, I watch gameshows. Reality gameshows. Biggest Loser, America’s Next Top Model, and Master Chef are totally — like, totally — my favorite shows. They’re just engaging enough to keep me company but utterly devoid of real substance. Perfect.
So I fire up the HuluPlus and I let entire seasons play. The downside to this is that any mystery or magic used in putting the shows together is gone. I know the template now. The challenges, the editing, the hosts’ indignation and the tear-jerker stories behind the contestants — every show, every game, it’s all die-cut. What’s really hard to listen to after hour eight are the interviews. I’ve figured how they do them. I’ve never experienced an actual reality show interview, but I am 99% certain they play sections of the already taped show for the player and ask him/her leading questions about what they were thinking at the time. And I picture the interviewer being extremely bored because these players, they say the same thing every single time.
Interviewer: “What does this competition mean to you?”
Player: “This competition…it means everything to me.”
Interviewer: “When Heidi walks out, what are you thinking?”
Player: “I’m just thinking, ‘What is going to happen next?'”
Interviewer: “What are you thinking right now, when Susan put the shrimp on the plate?”
Player: “Right now, I’m just hoping I don’t go home.”
Interviewer: “What did you come here to do? Is this just a game to you?”
Player: “I came here to win. This competition is not just a game for me.”
And on and on. And every once in awhile, something actually dramatic or surprising will happen (doesn’t happen often) and I’ll whoop or holler while I’m pressing my fabric and if anyone saw into my condo, they would see that I am a nerd.