Monday, March 03, 2008

Reality Shows.....

I'm very excited for tonight!!! Season 5 of Little People Big World premieres at 7:00pm CST on The Learning Channel. I've loved this show since the very first program they filmed - prior to the the actually LPBW show.

I am not a fan at all of most reality programs. I've never seen even one full episode of American Idol, Survivor, Fear Factor, or the tons of other "real" shows that seem to make up such a large portion of the viewing schedule. I did enjoy the season of The Surreal Life when Tammy Faye Messner was a member of the household. My husband and I also enjoy the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency as well as her new show, Janice and Abbey. Janice Dickinson might be mouthy, loud, and pushy, but she's also direct and honest, and is viciously protective of her family and people employed by her, and I respect that. I enjoy Gene Simmons Family Jewels for exactly the same reasons.

I like LPBW so much for the family centered and seemingly honest, normal values of the program. All the sides of this family are shown, both good, bad, and indifferent. Although I realize that the program is certainly edited for content and continuity, it does seem that the family allows the viewer to see how they really live. Seeing a lamp broken by the boys kicking a soccer ball in the house, and watching Amy Roloff (Mom) and Matt Roloff (Dad) bickering over small things such as where items should be located in the fridge certainly reminds me of moments in my own life! And I love that. I can identify with that. I also love that God is portrayed as a normal part of their lives, not something shoved in your face so you can "admire" them for their piety. He's just there. Like it should be.

This is quite unlike any programs that feature Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar and their ever-growing brood of 17 natural children. There isn't a whole lot I can say about this family that hasn't been stated by many others. There are so many issues with this family, but more than anything else these programs are very heavily edited to showcase the piety and "admire us" attitude of the parents. The very earliest programs were highly criticized for (among many other things) the families' reliance on processed food, extremely traditional gender roles, and they were eventually re-edited to remove some (also criticized) religious rhetoric. Now the newer shows always make a point of having the mother state to the camera that the family "eats a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables", and one of the male children was shown in the kitchen making biscuits (from a can, but, hey, he was "cooking"). Hmmmmm.......

This family also homeschools these children using Bill Gothard homeschooling materials (google him sometime if you don't know who he is), the eldest child is apparently attempting to acquire a law degree through online courses, and this same child once discussed how individual interests are encouraged among the children by using an example of how not all family members like pickles. Oy.

Give me the Roloff's, Gene Simmons, or Janice Dickinson any day!


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