Reality Check by Sharon O’Donnell

Reality TV has infiltrated my family, and I don’t like it. First, I saw my mother become an avid fan of “The Bachelor”, which I could understand somewhat because it is escapism TV, even though I fail to see how French kissing 12 different people in a swimming pool is going to help you find the person you want to be committed to for life. Then my 12-year-old started watching “Duck Dynasty” as if it was the most interesting show ever (?). I thought my husband would never succumb to the allure of Reality TV and instead remain staunchly loyal to the Military Channel and History Channel. Problem is that Reality TV has infiltrated the History Channel itself. No longer is it just documentaries about Normandy, but tonight I saw an ad for an upcoming show about Larry the Cable Guy taking us on some kind of tour of the nation. The Cable Guy? Really?

And my husband is now addicted to a show called “Mountain Men” because he says he likes to see the obstacles these men endure to survive. Ah yes, the struggle to survive while the cameras are rolling a mere six feet from you. I decided to watch a little of this to see what my husband Kevin found so appealing. I came in during the middle of the show, but evidently the Alaska Mountain Man had to
attempt to fly his small plane into higher mountains, risking his life in bad weather. He had to land in a remote area to wait for the weather to clear and talked about how he thought he had enough supplies to survive. Or he could just get a blanket and snacks from the camera crew. OK, I didn’t say anything then. I watched some more. The mountain man climbed back into his plane the next morning to venture once again to the top of the mountains. “Why does he need to go to the higher mountains?” I asked my husband.

“To kill sheep for his family to survive.” I burst out laughing. Kevin looked offended. “What?” he asked.

“The guy can fly a plane. I’m pretty sure he has enough skills to find some other way to feed his family other than killing sheep in the highlands.”

Kevin stared at me. “But that’s not what he wants to do,” he explained.

“He wants to risk his life killing sheep?”

“Yes.” Then Kevin pointed the remote at the TV and said, “I think I’ve seen the rest of this before,” as he changed the channel.

I shrugged my shoulders. “Hey, I’m just saying,” I told him.