Check it Out: Reality TV

Submitted by J. Johnston on

Do you watch reality TV shows? Over the years I’ve tried a few – “Deadliest Catch,” “Project Runway,” “Top Chef” – but I didn’t have any interest in what I call relationship shows. I felt good about not following “Survivor,” “The Bachelorette,” and all of the versions of “The Real Housewives.” I justified what I did watch as having more focus on real jobs, creativity, and skills (like cooking) that I could potentially learn and do myself.

Well, guess what? I have finally capitulated to the gods of televised relationships by becoming irritatingly involved with “Married at First Sight.” I am not proud of this. The premise of the show is to marry a stranger and live together for eight weeks, and then decide to stay married or get a divorce. My brain says “crazy town,” and I can’t help the feeling that much of it is staged, but I can’t stop watching. My goal in confessing this guilty pleasure is to let others know it’s okay to watch reality television (even when it feels wrong). Also, I hope I’m not alone.

In celebration of this genre, here is a reading list to inform, delight, and possibly annoy anyone who has spent more than a few hours glued to the telly, both fascinated and appalled by reality TV.

New at the Library




This is just a small sampling of the many new titles added each week to the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District collection. Visit the district’s 15 locations, our website at, or call (360) 906-5000 to reserve titles or find additional listings.

You can email Jan at