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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

In a Fishbowl

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Hawthorne Effect - an increase in worker productivity produced by the psychological stimulus of being singled out and made to feel important.

We all, yes all of us... don't act the way we normally do when we know someone is observing us. Although the Hawthorne Effect (aka Observer Effect) was initially done in the workplace, I believe it applies to everything we do.

Quite a scientific intro for my post on Reality Shows, eh? I'm removing my unprescribed glasses and my borrowed lab coat now.

A Car Crash... Don't Look!

I have always been mesmerized by Reality Shows. An overused analogy for such shows is the car accident... you don't wanna look, knowing you'll see something gruesome, but you HAVE to. Jerry Springer is as as useful as that smug second vocalist of Cueshe, but I can't keep my eyes away especially when the obscure guests start making utter fools of themselves. I know you like hidden camera shows like Just for Laughs and Candid Camera and I'm guessing you've at least watched an episode or two of Fear Factor. MTV's Punk'd is uber hilarious and Jackass is sadistically genius!

I knew I hit rock bottom when I watched episodes of The Simple Life and Laguna Beach. You actually see the smoke when your brain cells combust as you watch these two shows.

Richard, Tina, Ethan, Vecepia, Brian, Sandra, Amber

I watched 7 seasons of Survivor religiously. The first one, Australian Outback, Africa, Marquesas, Thailand, Pearl Islands and All-Stars. I could name the winners of these seasons... I know I'm pathetic. haha. There's something about the way the survivors plot against each other and compete in challenges. It's very primal and machiavellian. I stopped watching though because it became formulaic. I'd bring 39 cigarettes as a luxury item.

I also watched all, yes ALL, seasons of The Amazing Race like a crazed stalker. It has got to be the best show of the genre. It has all the drama Survivor offers, but you also get to see the architecture, customs and cuisine of the different countries they race through. Survivor meets National Geographic. I know all the winners' names by heart. Double Pathetic. hah! This is the only show that, even after 9 seasons, still keeps me at the edge of my seat. Hearing the theme song gives me an insta-adrenaline rush.

Idol Idolatry

Watching the third season of American Idol got me hooked. Fantasia singing with a broken heel and a missing necklace did it for me. The irritable Paula Abdul and the vain Ryan Seacrest aside, this is a good singing/reality show producing some great talents and Simon is a blast. I was a McPhan last season, too bad she lost... oh well, I used up all my voodoo-mojo getting the Mavericks to the NBA Finals and didn't leave any for Katharine.

Philippine Idol is a nice show in theory but extremely poor at the execution. Ryan Agoncillo as host (Ryan too) and judges Ryan Cayabyab, Pilita Corales and (why him?) Francis Magalona. I was ecstatic knowing three male contestants in the final 24 are from Baguio, two of which live in my neighborhood and one is the younger sibling of my sister's close friend. It seemed this was a show I was gonna watch every now and then, if for nothing else than to cheer for my ka-barrios.

ABC is too small a network to support this big a show. I watched the top 12 male performance. The audio was pitiable, a contestant even lost his mic feed in the middle of his song. Two of the three Baguio singers did fairly well and the other one (with long hair and plucked eyebrows, I think or was the TV deceiving me) did extremely well. True to Idol fashion, the results were a day after, and 4 of the 12 would go onto the finals. None of the guys I was rooting for made it. I wasn't counting on the other two but Long Hair, which the judges concurred was the performance of the night, deserved to go through.

The voting public chose the "shinier" contestants. Those with perfect teeth and shiny hair. I thought it was a singing competition first before a beauty pageant. What is it about voting for the "shiny" people instead of the deserving, could-do-something-great but less attractive ones?

Enter Heart Evangelista. She will be a co-host for the show doing the "behind-the-scenes, what's-his/her-lifelike" ala Pinoy Dream Academy on the same time slot on ABS-CBN. I give up, I'll just wait for the headlines saying who won. "Oh... him/her?"

Big Brother aka Kuya has a god-complex.

There is way too much drama on Pinoy Dream Academy. That whiny girl is crying, then that guy with... is that even hair?... the only one who should be crying is that Japanese guy who cried ever since the show started, and us viewers, intentional or surfing, for being subjected to it. Whatever happened to the good old days when the first thing you know about an artist is his music and curiousity from the lyrics or melody of the music made you wanna know more about the artist, his influences and his life. In this show, it's the exact opposite. There is talent there, I have seen some of their performances, but sifting through all the drama to see it just ain't worth it.

Surreality Show

Which brings me back to the Hawthorne Effect. If all the contestants of these shows know we're watching them and they act differently because of it... Are reality shows still real or just what TV producers think is real?

Photo Credits
Goldfish looking at Catbowl
Fishbowl Painting

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posted by Alternati, 1:32 PM

TAG! I'm it!
Baguio Day
Taxi Driver
Fishy Fingerprints and a Broken Cat
Pinatubo, Pulag and Apo
Oh my gawd! They killed Denny!
Running (Barely) on 28 kbps
Of Mouseholes and Mozzarella Cheese
The Art of Begging
Ten Ants, a Dog, a Cat, a Mouse and a Babel Fish

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