Taking the Face Off Reality TV

I’m not usually a fan of reality TV, because it’s often aimed at the lowest common denominator. I admit, I watched the first season of Survivor, because there was nothing like it on TV before, but got tired with how the venal people won because it turns out people who play dirty always win in the end.
Still, it got much worse. Suddenly, there were shows about spoiled rich people who would be working at a fast food restaurant if they weren’t living off daddy’s trust fund, because they lack any marketable skills or souls. And, white trash, who would proudly show off their stupidity for small amounts of cash like a homeless man in a bum fight.
Still, once in a great while, there is inspirational reality television. I enjoy the second half of Biggest Loser, since the first half is written by evil corporate executives coming up with creative ways to taunt and mock fat people. But, the second half is about the hard work these people put into becoming… well, better. We watch as these people not only lose weight, but fix psychological damage that had held them back for years. By coincidence, there is usually one couple a year who fall in love and have a successful marriage, which, when you compare that to the Bachelor, where nobody ever ends up happily ever after, seems like quite a magic trick.
My favorite show, partly because it is a genre show, is Face Off on the SyFy Network. Face Off is about ridiculously talented special effects artists who are put in a competition where they are tasked to make different get-ups. One week, they’ll be asked to create zombies in Wonderland, next week it’s a realistic alien creature, still another an original super hero. The show is fun for me because we get to see how creative minds work, the troubles they have to go through, and, shockingly, these creative people actually helping each other out. When it should be in their best interest to watch a colleague fall on their face, they help them open a mold or give an opinion that leads them to a better idea. The show ends with these amazing make-ups, and the worst one has to leave the show. The winner ends up winning money and the chance to do make-up for an actual movie or TV show.
I have had people make snipes about the show – about how real movie shoots wouldn’t put you through that and it’s doubtful any of these people will truly get their dream jobs. But, isn’t it better seeing these successful people showing what it takes to be successful, than to see a teenager getting pregnant in the hopes that their stupidity will lead to an MTV show?