you know the winner already?
Answer to the thread title: no.
Moved from General Questions to Cafe Society.
It never “makes sense” to watch a reality show. They are disposable light-brained entertainment.
If you enjoy watching them, de gustibus. Otherwise there is no need to justify either watching or choosing to ignore any particular show on teh TV.
It makes sense to watch a reality show if they pay you $35/hour to do so, with free psychiatric help thrown in.
If you find it entertaining, yes. If not, no.
That was an easy question to answer.
I’ve gone back on youtube and watched 2 or 3 old seasons each of Survivor, Amazing Race, and American Idol. Sometimes I knew the winner, sometimes I didn’t. If the contestants caught my attention from the beginning I kept watching, if not I skipped to a different season.
Sometimes when my job gets really stressful I need some light entertainment. I like to grade papers while watching something stupid, and reality tv is often perfect to set up while I work.
I prefer to watch Survivor having been spoiled. I prefer to watch Amazing Race unspoiled. I don’t watch any other reality shows.
Spoilers don’t hurt my entertainment value very much, but that’s just the type of person I am. Some people can’t stand spoilers. (I think there was a recent thread on the topic of “do spoilers ruin things for you?”.)
I’m someone who really dislikes spoilers and tries to avoid them whenever possible (hence my username). However, like RachelChristine I have watched early seasons of the Amazing Race that I missed even though I already knew the winner. Watching the competitors complete the tasks and experience new countries is entertaining even when the final outcome of the show is not in doubt.
I am not intrigued by reality shows as much as I am by their editing so knowing the winner makes it more fun to watch the process.
Survivor is the most scripted show in the universe for example. Watch the different story roles that each player plays. Watch the story arcs especially the increase in attention just before someone gets booted out. Look for ways that the editor/director/producers try to make you think someone else will win. The producers at Survivor must idolize Joseph Campbell as their narratives so closely follow his monomyth structure. So absolutely watch the show and try to guess the order of leaving in teh first episode, etc.
I listen to baseball games all the time after-the-fact, with not only the score but the box score right in front of me.
It’s because I enjoy the game more than the results.
The same can be true for a reality show competition, a fictional tv series, a movie, anything.
My reason for watching Survivor is usually to watch fairly pretty, scantily-clad people cavort on a beach and occasionally dive face-first in the sand or get hit on the head with a piece of plywood, all while trying to solve logic puzzles while starving to death. So, spoilers don’t bother me much.
I agree with Ethilrist. I thought the attraction of reality TV was watching odious people being tormented and humiliated. That somebody has to “win” is unfortunate, but necessary to the process.
This is why I still enjoy watching the tape-delayed Olympics, even though sometimes I already know the results.