I have to be honest I don’t watch whole lot of reality TV. When the mood strikes me I may succumb to certain vices that makes my wife shake her head in disgust, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Mob Wives, Fight Factory, even Honey Boo Boo has caught my attention for a brief moment. But that’s the extent of it.
For most reality TV I have trouble relating to the characters or feeling sorry when hair extensions go flying during some wild dispute over men or a Facebook posting.
There are exceptions though.
Reality TV shows that focus on professionals competing against their peers in a showdown for bragging rights is something I can’t turn away from. Most of these shows air on the Food Network like Iron Chef, Star and Chopped. The focus being on quality instead of quantity, leaving out the drunken mishaps, the “You-don’t-know-me” antics and cat fights.
This week a new season of The Ultimate Fighter is upon us. A trailer for the upcoming season starring head coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin shows grown men head butting one another, angry fighters throwing things at walls and multiple scuffles being broken up before escalating into full out brawls.
Last season (with head coaches Dominik Cruz and Urijah Faber) the mischief and explosive bi-polar behavior that made past seasons a success was kept to a minimum. As a result the ratings took a dive (you could argue the Friday night time slot was a contributing factor). But this season looks to bring those Jersey Shore antics back with a vengeance.
Not to say I’m not a fan when two heated fighters get into an argument over urine in fruit (like in season 8), but there’s no pay off for me, just a bunch of talk and name-calling until they meet in the cage. And who knows when that will happen, or if it ever does.
The reason the cooking challenge shows on TV are so successful is because the competition is about professionals against other professionals. Their knife skills, flavor pairings and unique cooking styles are the focus. Not what occurs during their down time.
It would be interesting if The Ultimate Fighter took a chance and followed suit. Have the show focus on training and technique rather than the B.S. that happens inside the house.
Now I’m not saying completely dissolve the rivalries, because let’s face it, some of it is just good old fashion television, but tone it down some. My patience wears thin when I hear one fighter tell another he’s going to kill him. Then the next frame shows the same fighter crying on camera.
Fighters on the show have an amazing opportunity to learn from the best in the world. How cool would it be if those same fighters showed off the tools and techniques that made them a success during their pro fights? Then they would be an inspiration rather than some dude that was on reality TV.
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