It’s the time of year when every journalist has to start slapping together lists to wrap up the previous year–and now, decade. It’s fun, easy, (I publish my year-end lists at the end of December around the holidays so I can take a break; also, I hate pretending nothing happens in December.)
Anyway, the first reality TV-related list I’ve seen comes from ABC News, which calls its list The Top 10 Reality TV Shows of the Decade. I guess the fact that in terms of modern reality TV there were only, like, two reality shows 10 years ago this month doesn’t really matter for their purposes.
And perhaps it shouldn’t matter that writer Sheila Marikar left off, like, the number one show in the country: American Idol. It’s far from my favorite show, and I appreciate that Survivor made the list, but seriously, where is it? Maybe if the list was “best” reality shows of the decade, its absence would be explainable, if debatable. But the piece says the shows on ABC News’ list “may not have drawn the most ratings or critical acclaim, but their influence on pop culture over the past decade can’t be contested.”
Someone please tell me how Extreme Makeover: Home Edition influenced pop culture more than American Idol–beyond, of course, connecting Sears appliances to eternal joy and happiness. Idol not only generates ratings, it has its tentacles all over pop culture, from TV to music to film to the pharmaceutical industry.