Above: Sketches made of contestants on "Project Runway: All Stars." Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and gouache in my 9 x 12 inch Fabriano Venezia in-studio journal. (Or in this case, in-TV-Room journal.)
If you don't like TV just stop reading right now. Shoo, go away. You're wrong, and wrong headed, but I'll never convince you, so shoo.
If you're still reading all I want to say today is that while there are some reality shows on TV that I loathe (all the housewives of "wherever" series) because there is so much vitriol and meanness, the shows which actually show people making things interest me.
Project Runway, Top Chef, Chopped, Mad Fashion, Face Off are current favorites. Sure there might be some drama included in these shows (in fact I think there is too much drama now in Top Chef and Project Runway so I might not be watching them any more). The producers encourage and engineer drama (and the more they have of it the sooner I stop following a show), but we do get glimpses of people making things in these shows, and I love that. I could watch that all day (without the drama of course).
Shows like The Next Iron Chef, where chefs of an established high calibre compete to be the Next Iron Chef, seem less prone to drama and there is more collegial behavior. I wish the housewives (from all the different cities) would watch a couple episodes of that show and see how to behave.
There are other "reality shows" like American Pickers (which is sort of like Antiques Road Show with travel and a lot of dirt and grime) where you see interesting people from all walks of life and learn things about odd things—Oddities is like this too. (Both of these shows don't really have any interpersonal drama of the angry sort, though in American Pickers sometimes Frank and Mike tease and test each other.)
If you can't sleep late at night, all of the shows I've mentioned that I watch are all good for one thing—sketching.
OK, OK, I enjoy Tabatha Takes Over. She's Australian; she's bossy; there is a lot of drama some evenings and it can be distressing. I'll even tell myself, nope, no more—but I love Tabatha, as much as I enjoyed watching the early Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Nightmares. So if you want to watch Jersey Shore or one of the Housewives I'm not going to rant at you. I have my own guilty pleasures. I seem them as a sort of parable—where, in the case of Tabatha, common sense and sound business practices win out.
OK, OK, and even though the shows have been heavily edited there's still enough information to profile the people, and that's just plain fun and good practice. Start gathering micro expressions today.
(And yes the title is a nod to Storage Wars, which sadly has become to "angry.")