It was with disgust that I watched the Amazing Race last night. I’m well aware that this bizarre subculture of reality TV show contestant wannabe celebrities has sprung up. As long as it doesn’t impinge on my life, I don’t care. Now they’ve got Rob and Amber from Survivor on my TV screen on my favorite reality show. And they’re smug and annoying and I don’t want to watch this show because of them.
Network TV execs seem to be of the opinion that there always needs to a “villain we love to hate” on these things. Now don’t get me wrong, “the man you love to hate” is a much used, much beloved archetype that has a long dramatic tradition going back centuries. The difference is that those figures usually have some kind of charm that keeps audiences enthralled. If I dislike watching the antics of people who can’t accept their check and that their 15 minutes of fame is over, then there’s no love involved. I simply hate them and stop watching.