Reality television provides good escape from reality

Being in the news business can be pretty rough.

There are good stories and bad stories, but even reporting on the good news can be stressful if you happen to learn about it moments before deadline. And there are always deadlines looming and editors clamoring for stories to be finished.

I am not complaining. Just stating the facts.

Yet there are times when you need to get away from it all. A trip to the beach always recharges my soul, but getting away for a couple of days isn’t always possible or practical.

Ironically, I escape reality by watching reality TV.

I know it seems rather silly. And even sillier because there is really only one reality TV show I watch regularly. I am a sucker for the sappy romance of The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise.

Of course I realize it’s not really real, and that the behind-the-scenes crew manipulates the story through editing to tell the story they want to tell.

I like to believe that humanity in general is not that stupid or conflicted. I never believe that the bachelor/bachelorette has so much trouble figuring out who he/she likes best. Even those of us on the other side of the screen, who only see a limited amount of the dates and interaction, can easily pick a favorite.

What I find appealing about watching this show in particular is the prospect of true romance.

I’ve been hooked on the show since the beginning. It first aired in 2001 when my family was in the process of moving to Nevada. My husband was already working here and I was at home with two toddlers and a working horse ranch. We would spend the weekends together, either in Nevada or California, and then count the moments until the next one would arrive.

Watching the show was a way for me to escape the hectic pace of day-to-day living and the stress of leaving behind family, friends and treasured pets. I also had nothing better to do on Monday nights and it lifted me out of my doldrums of living miles apart from my own sweetheart.

In the early incarnations of the show, I also would devote time to the chat boards that speculated on the outcome of each season. There, fans from across the nation would spend hours discussing all the fine details of each episode and analyze pictures to try to figure out in advance who was the bachelor/bachelorette’s final pick.

They would look at things such as lengths of shadows and how candles burned to try to figure out which of the final two arrived later (a sure sign of who “won”). They studied captured images from previews of the next week’s episode to figure out where each date took place and who was on it.

But all of that proved to be much too time consuming and overshadowed my real reason for watching.

The show is kind of like watching a modern-day version of a classic fairy tale. There’s the handsome prince or princess, gorgeous gowns, exotic locations, beautiful flowers and precious jewels.

Fortunately, my husband indulges my little vice because he knows it just makes me love him all the more.

I see all those people and their struggles in looking for love and give thanks that I found it. We may not jet set across the globe or dress in regal garb, but what we have is true. The fantasy of reality TV reminds me of that each week when I tune in.

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