Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fix My Reality TV Please

I have always had a weakness for reality TV.  I have happily binge watched from the first season of the Real World through the Biggest Loser and any home improvement show.  Over the years a lot of shows have lost their spark and fallen off my radar but they are usually replaced with another show that grabs my attention.  Two of my favorite guilty pleasure shows are on their way out.  I have no power over them, but talking about how I would fix them makes me feel better. 

The Voice  

Part I- The Auditions
Keep the blind audition concept.  Show more videos of people who don't get selected for the show.  Cut back on the banter and make sure every audition for people who make the show is seen in full on the TV broadcast. 

After a team is half full, that person is no longer able to choose people.  They will sit through the full performance and assign that person a score.  Once all of the auditions are done, the coaches will call back their highest scorers and fill their teams.  Initially, this will favor the judges who still have room on their teams since it will remove part of the competition.  Eventually they will all be half full and will have to listen to full auditions before filling their teams.  People who audition late but have great voices should have an equal chance of making the show.

Part II- The Battle Rounds
Each singer will be given a score on their performance.  The highest scores will move on and the 2 lowest scores will have a sing off for the final spot.  The team designations are irrelevant.  If one team has 2 of the best voices they should both remain in the competition.  Mediocre singers are allowed to flourish under the current format.  The judges do not get to know the scores of their fellow judges, only cumulative score of all of their votes. 

I'm fine with the way the rest of the show goes as far as these earlier parts are fixed.

Married at First Sight

The first season of this show was fantastic.  Every season since, the show has been a little worse.  This season is probably my last season watching.  Pleas fix this show.  It is a great concept and must see TV when it works.

During the first season, the viewer was introduced to a number of singles looking for their matches.  You knew some of them were going to be picked for the show but you weren't sure who was matched up with who.  As  you watched the experts interview these people, you started to put together couples in your head.  You were shocked when they revealed which singles would be matched.

At this point you are emotionally invested in the show.  You feel like you have insight into each of the singles and can't wait to see if these matches work or not.  In later seasons, they have removed this part of the show.  You only meet the singles that they have picked and they tell you ahead of time who is paired up.

I'm assuming the initial process is the same.  The experts do extensive screening of the applicants to make sure they are making good matches.  None of the couples have stayed together expect for 2/3 couples from the first season.  I think this is because FYI knows it has a hit on it's hands and doesn't need to put the work they used to put in to get people to watch.

The show feels very hollow at times with forced activities to meet the script of the show.  Oh you are all going on your second honey moon this week.  Oh we're going to have dinner with a best friend and have them tell us our faults.  Of course this is all going to take place in the same episode.  These activities are so clearly forced and unnatural. 

Each episode is about 50% new material and 50% re-hashing the same issue over and over again to create drama and suspense where there really is none.  You know they have hours of footage of the couples.  Why not share more of that with the viewer instead of the mindless drivel that we are fed?

At the moment there don't seem to be any new shows in the wings that are going to satisfy my reality TV needs.  I hope things get better soon!  Netfilx is helping but it's just not the same.