Friday, July 24, 2009

Episode 2.501

After yet another long break, I begin Season 2.5, which will be precisely one episode long (unless of course something drastic happens on The Bachelorette finale). I feel like LOST, with really short seasons and really long breaks. Now that I think about it, that would be a good excuse not to write again until 2010. In any case, I will make this entry a bit longer to make up for it. And of course, I will return for Season 3 in the fall -- I imagine that NBC's spectacular fall line-up will give me plenty of material.

I learned on my hiatus that you can now watch television on the plane. I knew that you could watch pre-prepared TV on those little screens that the cooler airlines have, but I had no idea that you could actually watch satellite TV. I often bemoan flying primetime because I know I'll be missing my shows, but apparently that's no longer a problem. So, for those of you who thought that I might -- dare I say it -- read on the plane, you were wrong.

Instead, I watched reality TV. And for you haters of reality television, I finally found something that will change your mind. I am not talking about Fox's "More to Love" where they are showing that even fuller-figured people have the right to find love on national television (but not ugly people, apparently). Instead, the revolutionary moment came with this week's episode of Top Chef Masters, which was downright feel-good reality television. That might sounds like an oxymoron, but hear me out.

Not only were tears of joy shed (as opposed to tears of embarassment, heartbreak, and pure anger that are common to most reality TV), but the contestants looked out for and supported each other -- instead of sabotage (sandwich?), when it came time to choose the other chefs' ingredients, the contestants picked out only the finest. And they did it with heart. To top it all off the judges were...wait for it...really nice. For anyone who has ever watched even 5 seconds of Chopped, we know that condescending and crazy-ass psycho judges are common, especially in food-related reality shows.

Granted, a show where people are playing for charity -- as opposed to doing it out of greed, mental illness, and/or desire for fame -- allows for the possibility of this outpouring of happy reality. But the previous five episodes of the show were nothing like this week's: even people playing for charity usually still have the cross-me-and-I'll-kill-you drive to win.

Try watching this episode immediately after watching Paris Hilton's My New BFF and the normalcy of it all becomes even more overwhelming. No really, all you reality TV haters, try it. I dare you.

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