Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Reality TV Can Be Good

I am not a TV watcher. I like a handful of entertainment programmes, and sometimes enjoy a documentary. Otherwise I far prefer the interactivity online or reading a book, although I do like watching films. Reality TV as shown in the UK is mostly dire – Big Brother, I’m a C-List Celebrity Get me back in the B-List.

If the television companies are going to make ‘reality’ TV it seems to me there should be two characteristics. It should bear some relation to reality, to what some significant proportion of its viewers experience, or might experience in the future. It should offer some potential benefit to its participants apart from fame or notoriety. Without these two ‘reality’ TV seems to me a freak show, entertaining

Rather randomly I came across the website for A Week With My Father, a new American reality show. It seems to take people who lost touch with their fathers when very young and, as the name suggests, take them to live for a week with their father. This strikes me as a potentially good programme, enough human interest to be entertaining, but could also give a lot back to the participants, and even to the viewers who might realise both the importance of a father to a growing child, and the possibility of reconciliation even after many years.

The site has a pilot episode in several sections, and as far as I have currently watched it seems very good. The son in that episode seems a great guy, and the way it is filmed strikes a good balance, never seems too intrusive.

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