Let me very clear here: I hate reality shows. Seriously, I hate, loathe and despise them. Whenever I hear Jersey Shore, I’m seized with a sudden urge to shake my head until the alcohol-soaked, fake-baked ear mites fall out. Survivor makes me want to scream, and if I hear Tyra purr, ”Smize,” one more time, my compassionate chip is going to go all haywire. It won’t be pretty.
It’ll be like Data happily chirping, “Life… forms, you pretty little life… forms…”
With all that out there, I just have to say: I love, lovelovelove Deadliest Catch. So much so that at the end of last season, the mancandy and I watched with sorrow as Captain Phil Harris passed away. We watched the Harris boys say good-bye to their father with tears in our eyes and we mourned with them.
For the first time in a very long time, we made sure that we were there, together, in front of our television to catch every episode of a television show. And yes, in it’s most basic form, Deadliest Catch is a “reality show”.
Only it’s not.
Because it’s actually interesting.
Okay, maybe that’s mean. And not entirely true. These days, “reality show” seems to indicate a certain style of filming. It’s the name they give those types of shows featuring co-eds, models, the desperate, and the fame-starved all gathered together under one roof, as it were. A competition, a house, a… uh… what is Jersey Shore all about, anyway?
The Discovery shows I enjoy catching now and again all have an element of “reality” about them. Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe is a perennial favorite, as is Mythbusters when we bother to catch it. I enjoy watching Auction Kings because I spent a lot of time around antiques and auctions, and it’s always interesting to see what kind of treasures people store.
But none of them, not a one, grabs me like Deadliest Catch.
I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s the fact that I feel so invested in the Harris boys. Maybe it’s from falling a little bit in love with all the captains and the various crew as I watched them struggle and push and hurt through another season. Maybe it’s like spending time with that one gruff uncle who’se as weathered as a sea barnacle but, in his own way, as lovable as a teddy bear.
Maybe I’m just crazy.
I don’t really consider Discovery’s shows “reality” in the showbiz buzzword way. Instead, I see them as “reality” in the… wait for it… real way. The drama that happens isn’t any better or worse than the drama I deal with in my own life.
And the kicker? Ah, the point where I realize I’m lost forever.
Deadliest Catch is on Tuesdays, at 10pm. This is the time reserved for Body of Proof, one of a multitude of crime shows I’m already obsessed with. Having had several months to separate from the Bering Sea, I figured that was that. Tonight, we watched NCIS: Los Angeles, like we do, and followed it up with some Dana Delany goodness. Filled up on the joys of Tuesday television, I popped over to Discovery to see if Auction Kings was on. You know, kill some time.
And then I see them. The fishing crab boats all in a circle, and a snapshot of Captain Phil Harris on the screen. And as the first strains of Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive” fill the speakers, I threw my hands into the air and shouted, “Yes!” as the mancandy laughed at me.
I’m watching it now. There’s hope on the Bering Sea.
And unceasing bleeping.
But I can’t deny that I felt an unmistakable little thrill through my heart as the boys lit fireworks in honor of the fallen Captain. I hadn’t intended to stay up this late, but Jon Bon Jovi and the Bering Sea have changed my mind. Because I’m sick in the freaking head.
Oh, yeah, and addicted.