By: Miranda Babbit

The strangely unbreakable addiction to reality TV has swarmed television sets across the country since as early as the 1950s. These shows had stemmed from the seeds of innocent intrigue into the lives of policeman on the tails of petty thieves and middle aged couples competing to redecorate their suburban homes (that’s a nail-biter, I know).

Viewers of reality television in the 21st century, however, are offered shows with so much more substance, like the critically acclaimed Real Housewives of Atlanta. (The critics may or may not be my mother and me on particularly rowdy Sunday nights.) Now these women, I sadly assure you, are, in fact, real housewives.

Dwelling in the swankier streets of Atlanta resides a collection of the sassiest ladies you will likely ever encounter, if you are somehow given the chance to end up in their presence. I do warn you, though, that if you are in the presence of these women, keep any and all opinions to yourself. The definition of a personal opinion is greatly altered in this world of perms and manicures. An opinion is no longer yours to have at your own liberty. Oh, no. An opinion has been reformatted to entail the beginning of a catfight, table flipping, finger snapping and/or throwing of wine in one’s face.

After watching an hour of the screaming, the eye rolling and, of course, the dirty gossip that goes down in those confession rooms, you may find yourself feeling as if your pores have been filled with grease and that any word more than three syllables will be difficult to register.

During the show, though? Whole other experience. Suddenly you are one of the sassiest, wealthiest ladies in Atlanta. Sitting in front of the television in a Canadian city, where yes, we enjoy the pleasure of hearing please and thank you on a regular basis, your fingers may start joining in on the snapping and incessant hand waving in the midst of a catfight. You may find yourself saying, “Oh, girl, no” a lot more often when discussing the drama that has ensued, and you may feel the urge to pick up your phone and throw an enormous party while strategically excluding the one person who has snubbed you most recently.

Real Housewives of Atlanta instills a sense of irresistible sass in everyone, and it can be hard to turn off. You can step away into a world where the laws of high school cat fights still govern all the ladies’ happiness, and that is just too wondrous to look away from. Essentially, it’s akin to a family-size bag of potato chips. Total junk, addictive, but nearly impossible to draw yourself away from.

The boost of sassiness doesn’t hurt either.

 

By: Paulina Prazmo

Finding true love is difficult nowadays, what with hard-to-please boys and girls wanting an airbrushed prince charming. The Bachelor Canada is about finding true love on a reality TV. From first dates to first kisses to meeting the family, all of these relationship milestones are documented on national television.

The aim to find true love within the span of two months between complete strangers is known to be downright crazy, so why are we hooked? Episode after episode, the suspense, the drama and the potential romance keep us on our toes. Each beautiful (and staged, might I mention) date and the every catty move a girl makes is a topic of conversation for the viewers.

However, I do not believe that we entirely realize how much of such a reality show is actually scripted. Mr. Brad-Hunky-Chiseled-Body Smith has to stand on a balcony, overlooking the beautiful scenery (shirtless, thank goodness) and reflect on his feelings (which, let’s face it, aren’t genuine or real to begin with) out loud.

A little FYI for diehard fans: out of 24 seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, only four couples remain together. So much for the extravagant proposals at the end with the stunning ring. Apart from Canada catching on to this hopeless “find love” reality show and its extreme oozing of cheesiness, The Bachelor Canada is one among the many reality TV shows that manage to capture our attention, even if just for a second.

 

By: Ronald Leung

In today’s competitive rat race, what better opportunity would there be than to immediately land a plush executive job in a multi-million dollar company?

This was the exact opportunity NBC’s The Apprentice gave contestants. Sixteen to eighteen qualified business people compete in various challenges each week and are slowly weeded out until business mogul Donald Trump crowns his “apprentice.”

In grade 5, still armed with childhood innocence, I would watch in awe as the first season of The Apprentice aired with Trump dishing out criticisms and catchphrase “You’re fired” left and right. Part of what was so fascinating was the backroom drama with surprise backstabs and schisms in the boardroom when the losing team is grilled for the cause of their loss. Excuses fly all over the room and the blame game is played to the extremely, but eventually, Trump loses his patience and generally fires someone.

What initially really drew me into the show was the passion with which the candidates fought. They were fighting for a great opportunity to get some business experience and put their name out there.

However, I can say now that starting from season seven onwards, my interest has faded so quickly it resembles some sort of negative exponential curve. I’m not sure why Trump decided to switch the show to Celebrity Apprentice, where b-list (for the most part) celebrities are recruited instead of businessmen and women to compete, with the main prize being a large sum of money for the winner’s charity of choice. Don’t get me wrong, giving to charity is definitely not a bad act, but it defeats the purpose of The Apprentice.

At the end of the day, there is no big personal loss or win for these celebrities, compared to real contestants, who would be missing out on a great opportunity. It almost seems like a modern-day gladiator arena for these celebrities who duke it out more for the sake of their egos than for their charity while the rest of the world watches. If Trump was so willing to give money to charity, he could just directly donate to them.

I do occasionally indulge in an episode of The Apprentice – sorry, Celebrity Apprentice, that is – when I’m feeling particularly brain-dead or nostalgic about my childhood. At the end of the day, it can be quite amusing to watch a “reality” TV show with all the bickering and backstabbing.

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