“You have all done well, but now one of you must go (camera pans the anxious faces while dramatic music plays in the background).”
The “emcee” looks at each contestant slowly, letting the tension build until you, the viewer, is sitting on the edge of your seat, your lips moving silently. “Don’t pick Leroy, don’t pick poor ‘ol Leroy.” After the obligatory 15 seconds of drama, he says, “Leroy, because you refused to leap off the 100-foot-tall cliff into a three-foot deep mud pit filled with boa constrictors, you have been voted off.”
Leroy, with a look of dejection, picks up his backpack and walks off. And so it goes with the onslaught of so-called reality shows that are coming in droves to entertain us.
Normally, I try to find something to do to occupy my time rather than sit in front of the TV and suffer emotional ups and downs by identifying with the plots and characters. But sometimes, after finishing the last of the books on the shelf for the second time, and six inches of snow nixes sitting on the front porch, I’m forced to endure today’s entertainment on the old boob tube.
Unfortunately, I’m soon relating to the characters and mentally assuming their roles. After a half hour of Duck Dynasty I have almost urges to grow a beard, buy a duck call and start speaking in a deep southern drawl. That would get me kicked out of the neighborhood social club.
American Pickers features two gentlemen who roam the country searching through barns and sheds for antique and collectible items that I assume they sell to some hapless customers. I say hapless because the values they place on some of the junk they buy would confuse a Swiss banker.