Friday, August 1, 2008

Bravo for Passion--Reality Style!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Passionate Television--Reality Style!

Hey Tim! Hey Heidi!
I'm making it work, Tim! I really am!

And no, People Who Have Yet To Discover The Wonder of Reality TV, I didn't fall and hit my head.
Have you ever watched Project Runway, or The Next Food Network Star, or Ace of Cakes?
Haven't you? YOU MUST DO IT!
Pretty Please.

I turned my nose up at those shows until a year or so ago.
I thought all reality television was trash TV, like this.

Recognize that icon? Maybe not, unless you watched Loft Story in France or its evil twin in Canada. (Actually they're both evil.)
Loft Story made big news in France back in spring of 2001. I watched a few episodes out of curiosity, but afterwards I always felt the need to take a bath.
Let's just say it was a little too passionate.
Tacky, tacky, tacky, mes amis.

But then last year I had a revelation!
B.R. (Before Revelation) I hardly ever watched TV. I was too busy writing, mothering, reading, and whatever else I do that gets undone a few hours later.

People would tell me about Project Runway, or America's Next Top Model and I'd think of Loft Story and roll my eyes.

It's not that I was a TV snob. I'd had my love affairs with TV shows. I'd been through the addictions, breaking out in a sweat when they'd split town and leave me hanging, craving just one more episode! Over the years I've had my share of lovers: West Wing, Law and Order, Northern Exposure, Cheers, and Murder She Wrote. (Stop laughing, you young whippersnappers!)
I understood how people could become addicted to TV. But to reality TV?

Weren't there better ways to spend their time?
Like...I don't know...clipping strangers' toenails or helping squirrels cross the street?

Then I watched my first Project Runway.
I nearly cried.
I had the urge to call up everyone I knew and beg them to watch this show!

Hey Christian! (He's so fierce.)
Here were these wildly talented people, competing in ridiculously impossible challenges, showing off their creativity in unbelievable ways!
Such passion for their art!
Such dedication!
Such tattoos!

So now I'm an addict.
And be afraid. There are plenty of others just like me.

Like my new friend Beth.

Hey there Beth!
People, this is Reverend Beth Templeton. She is an AMAZING person who runs United Ministries, a non-profit organization here in Greenville/Greer, and I've been wanting to meet her ever since we moved here in 1990.

I finally got my chance a couple of weeks ago! We sat beside each other at a Meet The Authors thingy at the 2008 national conference for the Church and Synagogue Library Association.
She was there to talk about her soon to be released book, Loving our Neighbor, A Thoughtful Approach to Helping People in Poverty, and she also teaches a seminar I've been wanting to attend: Helping Others: Servant or Sucker. (Read more about her and her philosophy HERE) We had a little time to chat as the crowds ebbed and flowed, so you'd think that I might ask her one or two of my hundreds of questions.

Oh no I didn't.

Guess what we talked about.

That dress!
Don't think I'm shallow. Don't think I don't care.
Can you believe it?!

It turns out she's addicted to Project Runway too!
Once we started talking, we couldn't stop!
People were waiting to talk to us, and we tried to ignore them. (Actually she didn't. And neither did I. Mostly.)
But the minute they walked away, we moved on to this dress made out of plastic cups!

Plastic cups!
Don't get the wrong idea. Usually they use fabric, and make the dress (or whatever) within 24 hours, WITH NO PATTERN OR ANYTHING! JUST THEIR OWN INCREDIBLE BRAINS!
For this particular challenge they had to buy all their materials from the grocery store.

Oh, how I wish there was a rerun on right now.
It gets me so juiced (did I just say that?) to see such passion and skill for art!

And just when I thought I could handle adding one reality show to my busy schedule, my brother Steve introduced me to Ace of Cakes!

It's not a contest show, just a documentary- like hour of cake amazement from Charm City Cakes on the Food Network.
Here's a few examples of their work.

Amazing, huh? The whole cast of characters are wonderfully quirky and hilarious. And they love their jobs. And their art! And the cakes are entirely edible. People say they're delicious!

But this post isn't over yet! (Sorry, I'm OD-ing on the exclamation points, but they're absolutely necessary.)

Just last week at the beach I discovered a brand new show (new to me anyway!)
It was raining and Sam and I were flipping through channels. Guess what else I found on the Food Network?!
No, not Paula Dean eating a sausage and donut sandwich! Besides that!

The Next Food Network Star!
And they were having a marathon of all their shows!
Sam and I watched every one. I even let him stay up the other night to find out the winner.
It made us both grouchy but it was worth it!
Take a look and you'll see what I mean.

I think what attracts me to these programs is the same thing that attracts me to you lovely bloggers out there. You are so passionate about painting or sewing or tatting or design or writing or collage work or mothering or teaching or whatever you do...and YOUR TALENT INSPIRES ME!
I am in awe of what you can do. Not only that you can do it, but that you DO IT! You find the courage to try! And that gives me the courage to try as well.

So thank you!
And I hope to see you on a TV Reality show one day!

And don't worry. I will sign up for Beth's seminar. Maybe then I'll show restraint and ask my questions.
But I should probably wait until Season Five of Project Runway is over, just in case!

Have a Wonder-Full Weekend, y'all!
And tell me, how do you feel about these kinds of shows? Which ones do you love? Hate? (Perish the thought!)
And has anyone ever watched Groomer Has It? Beth says it's great!



LW said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Project Runway…


rochambeau said...

Hi Becky,
Very nice post.
These shows are practically the only things I do sometimes watch. That and Bill Moyers. Tv doesn't call me too much.

Have a great day!

steve said...

Yes, yes, yes. This is great TV. The reality shows I like are usually not contests. There's something about the competition aspect that makes people behave differently (usually in a bad way). It's like they are less themselves for the purpose of "playing a game." To quote(well, paraphrase) the great philosopher Fred Rogers (the dude with the neighborhood):

"What are the best shows on TV? The ones in which someone shares their true and honest selves."

These shows where people display their true passions (even erotic passion) are great because they are so into the moment that they display their true and honest selves. For them, it's not about being on TV or about what other people think, it's about the thing they're passionate about. When you love somebody or something so much, you lose yourself in it, thereby being more yourself.

Then again, it's just TV :*) But it's fun!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey Louise! Glad to find a fellow PR fan! And I'm with you, Constance! Bill Moyers and creative reality TV. What a combo!

Yes Steve! I so agree about seeing people in their most honest selves.
That reminds me of a Buechner quote, "If you lose yourself in your work, you find who you are. If you express the best you have in you in your work, it is more than just the best you have in you that you are expressing."
How I love Buechner!
And just what kind of erotic shows are you watching?

Rebecca Ramsey said...

PS Steve
Did you read the link about Beth? You'd find it interesting.

steve said...

"erotic passion" was merely hypothetical! But surely it could be applied to a reality show if there were two people in love or something! And yes, I was thinking about Buechner when I wrote that - you know me well....

I'll check out Beth's link

Barb said...

May I just say, this is a Fierce post. Love Project Runway. I think I am drawn by their passion as well as creativity.

The girls like Next American Model so we did sneek in a few episodes. A little too mean spirited tough.

Have a wonderful weekend Becky.


Suzie said...

I havent started watching the groomer show yet but its waiting on my tivo. I love ace of cakes I even watch Tori and Dean I love reality shows.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Wow, Rebecca, those dresses are amazing. I've thrown together some last minute costumes for kids who happen to remember "dress up" day for school is the next morning and we need an outfit that looks like a Viking. . . or a Disney character. . . or whatever. Who knew I could forget about scrambling for fabric, etc and just forage in my refrigerator!!
Great post, as always~

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm an Ace of Cakes girl, never got into those other shows. But I don't care much about clothes. Cake, yes, clothes, not so much.

Rosemary said...

Hi Rebecca,
I love Ace of Cakes!
I have to admit I get sucked into reality TV all of the time.
I was on reality TV a couple of years ago on HGTV Weekend Warriors.
My husband called it assisted reality. Anyway, it was fun!!
Have a fun weekend!

Betty C. said...

My daughters have gotten into Project Runway with their aunt here in the USA. I can see where the concept is intriguing, even if I haven't watched it myself.

May Vanderbilt said...

I used to be the same exact way! I really didn't even own a TV for the longest time. But then I met this lovely man I'm going to marry and he is obsessed with reality TV, but the good kind.

And Project Runway is DEFINITELY a gateway drug into the harder stuff.

Don't you miss Christian Siriano. I sort of want to ring him up and have him over for fancy nibbles and then pore over fashion magazines together.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Confession time - I do not watch reality tv. Ever. Sorry. I saw Ace of Cakes once because I was at someone's house and they insisted. They were pretty funny and made a cake that looked like the White House and one that looked like a pirate ship. Pretty cool. I couldn't even tell you which channel to look for those shows. But if you think you're going to call me on a Tuesday night at 7:00, think again. I'll be watching NCIS, thank you very much, and will not answer. Blessings, marlene

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey Barb. I've seen ANTM too. I still don't know what it means to smile with your eyes. Maybe I need to watch more often.

Hey Suzie, let me know what that groomer show is like. I only saw an ad for it in which they groomed mop doggy dolls. One girl dyed hers pink. That's all I've seen.

Hi Cathy, I've done the same thing. Thank goodness I was big on costumes when the kids were real little and kept all those old hats and other stuff. It's come in handy.

Green girl, you'd never know to look at me that I'd love Project Runway. My wardrobe is Early Boring Mom, and I don't care about clothes either. But I do sew. Maybe that's why I find it so fascinating.

I can't believe that you were on that show! I've seen Weekend Warriors! I'd love to hear all about it!

Betty C., you should watch a DVD of it. It really is amazing!

May, I do miss Christian! Except I'd be too intimidated to invite him over by myself. But I'd love to be around him and listen to his ideas!

Marlene, I love you anyway. (And I confess I don't have the slightest idea what NCIS is. Sorry!) But I was always like that during Northern Exposure. Thank goodness for answering machines!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Oh folks...I forgot to tell you. The birthday boy came home and loved the wiggle eyes all over his room. Actually he said, "Mom, you're crazy!" but he was smiling and laughing so that's good!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

We don't have cable but last year on vacation I saw some cooking show on TLC with an adorable guy that pounces on you at the grocery store and then comes home and cooks with you!
I'd pay to watch that one every day. "Good" reality TV is addicting I agree.

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

HI Becky ..Scallop Girl~
Great post.. again(:)
did you see you as a peach on my last post?? hugs Patty

Rebecca Ramsey said...

How did I miss my peachy self? Love it! Thank you, my dear, for the peachy picture!
Peaches to you!
Love, Becky

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

LOL... Yup you look very -very Peachy(:)Cute dimples~~ hugs Patty

Susan Sandmore said...

That camera cake is amazing!! I don't watch too much TV anymore (no cable so . . .) so thanks for updating me.

The yellow dress made me want a deviled egg. Or a chef salad.

Bethany said...

So You Think You Can Dance?!
Talk about passionate art! These people are so fan-flippin-tastic. Graceful athletes and artists all rolled into one!
Wouldn't it be cool to have a reality show about writers? I don't know what we would watch, though. Laptops clicking? Pens scratching?

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Becky, I am so happy to meet you!!! Thank you for coming by & visiting my blog!!!...Now I have just read your post & am in total agreement!!! The people who make fun of these shows ( project runway, Food Network Stars, HGTV Design Star) are lumping all reality shows together, not judging them off their individual merits! These are great shows with extremely talented people!! I love them & am proud to watch them!...You have a wonderful blog...I will be back often to visit!...heidi XO

velocibadgergirl said...

LOVE me some Project Runway :D My husband even sort of watches it with me now, even though he used to make fun of me. Don't underestimate the power of the Gunn!

(Love your header, too. Very pretty!)

TattingChic said...

Hi Becky, I'm not sure what the deal with blogger is lately, but I left a comment here a few days ago and now it must be floating around in the internet somewhere. I cannot even remember what all I said except for "I love Ace of Cakes!" LOL!

Alex said...

I so LOVE the camera cake! :)

Pocket Full of Prettys said...

Sorry to say but I hardly ever watch TV. I am so busy that I do other things besides watch TV. I have a problem sitting for very long @ a time. (it makes me crazy) well crazier that I already am. Ha! Hugs***Renea

Kristin said...

ohh my I love food networks reality shows..haha ohh and you should deffinitley visit new orleans, wonderful creative much art to see every where you would love I promise..and I hope all goes well with you college bound deffinitely dont want to watch ps i love you before that..I just finished watching it for the second time and it still makes me cry like a baby..haha

Rebecca Ramsey said...

P.Farmgirl, that show sounds scary to me. I'm not sure I'd want some guy pouncing on me at the store and then coming home to cook with me. My kitchen is usually too messy. But I'm sure it would make for fun TV.

Susan, I thought the same thing! Yum, deviled eggs! I love those.

Hi Bethany, I've never seen the dance one but I hear it's great! And a writer show...hmm. People typing, scratching their heads, checking the thesaurus. Typing some more. Not sure about that one!

Hey Heidi Ann, welcome to the blog! I agree. These shows get a bad rap by some. But they're great inspiration!

Velocibadgergirl, since the post, several men I care about have quietly admitted to me that they love Project Runway. Why the hush hush boys? Embrace it!

Tattingchic, blogger eats my comments too sometimes. Weird. But I'm glad you're a fellow Ace of Cakes fan! Great show!

Alex, no wonder you like the camera one! You and your camera picture! I'd love to visit that bakery and watch them in action.

Pocket full of Prettys Renea, you should try one! I'm quite a busy bee myself so I'm very selective in the TV I give time to. Project Runway is a great one to inspire me! Try it! (Somehow I feel I should be in a dark alley in a trench coat right now.)

Kristin, I will definitely avoid tear jerker movies right now. In these last two weeks before taking my first baby off to college, just about anything might set me off!
I do want to get to New Orleans soon. If I won the lottery or if Oprah discovered my book, maybe I could take a trip, just to get my mind off things!

cindy said...

LOVE Ace of my favorite show right now! Duff and the gang just rock. And I guess I need to start watching Project Runway...looks interesting...


Susie Q said...

We LOVE Ace of Cakes!!!

I also love Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Great shows!