Friday, 30 April 2010

it doesn't have to be nasty to get the ratings

i have to admit to being a master chef fan. even though i don't like cooking and don't watch cooking shows. and even though i don't like too much else that comes under the banner of reality tv. i really enjoyed UK masterchef. i didn't really like the aussie or nz version when they started, but they definitely grew on me as the competition went on.

it's hard to say what i like most about this programme. it's partly because of the skill involved, partly because the food presentation looks so lovely. it's amazing to watch ordinary people extend themselves and take on some really tough challenges, and achieve some spectacular results.

what i loved most about the nz show (well, after the rather harsh dressing down given to karyn towards the beginning) was the lack of nastiness. the competitors generally behaved really well towards each other and were quite supportive. it was such a nice change from, say, gordon ramsay (never managed to sit through one of his shows) or simon cowell. it was just really nice to see people competing cleanly and with integrity; taking responsibility for their mistakes and generally being very good role models.

the winner, brett mcgregor, is such a genuinely nice guy. i have to say that i don't think he was the best of the top 12, but he certainly deserved to win. maybe i'm not watching the right stuff, but i believe we get to see a lot of this type of person on tv: someone who's committed to his family and a really good sport.

and the best thing is that even with all these well-behaved and lovely people, and with the lack of nastiness and open conflict, it was riveting television. i'll happily admit to having tears in my eyes at the end of the show.

on a similar theme, i've never watched any of the "idol" series from any country, but i have followed this year's american idol a bit in the last weeks. not for the contestants, but mostly because i'm enjoying watching ellen on the show. again, i just find i enjoy watching someone who usually (though not always) has something nice to say, even to the contestants who haven't done so well. she seems to be popular enough as a judge - although i haven't watched any other series to make any kind of decent comparison.

so i guess what i'm saying is: more please! i want to see more of nice people behaving well on tv.

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