I loathe reality TV...everything from Wife Swap to Survivor to American Idol. My main contention is that I watch television to escape reality, not to extend it. But I also don't identify with the retards they pull in for these shows, nor do I fall for the advertising that's the whole basis for television as it is now. So reality TV is just not my cup o' tea.
But this can hardly be called reality. Obviously it's not luck of the draw putting a black woman with a family of white supremacists, or putting a devout Catholic with a family of atheists. It's all in the name of generating the type of conflict that will get people to tune in, regardless of whether it's real, staged, or set up. And viewership is all the networks are interested in...that's what brings in advertisers that pay to put the shows we love oh-so-much on the air.
I keep having this crazy idea--let's all stop watching these crappy shows that the major networks assume we like so much. If no one's watching, no advertisers will buy ad time, the shows will get cancelled, and the networks will have to come up with better ideas. A lot of really great shows have died just because they didn't have a wide enough audience (Arrested Development...RIP) and advertisers weren't interested in paying for time in that slot. So maybe if enough people just stop watching reality TV, the major networks will get the idea that we're sick of it and want something new and innovative (although every time something new and innovative comes on network television it usually dies in a few weeks due to lack of interest. Cable/Satellite TV is far superior in finding shows that suit one's tastes).
Okay, I know that's just a pipe dream, but I'm still going to hope for it.