February 02, 2006

Three Different Reality Shows

Tonight is the debut of Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island. I haven't watched much of Survivor in the past few years, but like a dutiful Popular Culture guy, I'll try again.

I'm a little more enthusiastic about tonight's debut of The Shop, MTV's attempt to catch the Barbershop movies in a reality bottle. It's hard to believe that the Jamaica, Queens barbers and their clientele won't act out for the cameras, but we shall see (on at 10:00 P.M. tonight).

Perhaps the strangest reality show currently on TV, and one I confess to watching religiously, is the Travel Channel's Flight Attendant School (two episodes run back-to-back on Thursdays from 9:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. and repeated at midnight). The program takes you behind the scenes in the training of Frontier Airlines flight attendants. The producers seem to have done nothing to juice up the proceedings -- usually, the show's content is morbidly mundane. I love the description of tonight's first episode on my cable guide: "A student falls asleep during a role-playing training exercise."