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May 26, 2009

A dose of reality


I'm one of the few people who wasn't on tenterhooks last week about American Idol ... in fact, I couldn't even name a contestant. But I must admit, I spent a good portion of my Memorial Day weekend watching old episodes of MythBusters, a show on the Discovery Channel where two special-effects guys tackle scientific myths such as, "Can high explosives tenderize steak?" and "Is it possible to escape Alcatraz in a raft built of raincoats?"

I don't have cable television, so I download most of the shows I watch through iTunes. As I was scrolling, it struck me as odd that there are categories for "nonfiction" and "reality." While the two words have similar meanings, we all know that in the television world, "reality" and "nonfiction" have little to do with each other.

I've been interested to read the discussion on the "Reality TV: Is it a virtual sin to watch contestants struggle?" article from last month. From the discussion there, it seems as though a lot of people have problems watching "reality" TV. Yet, it heartens me that shows such as MythBusters have a devoted following, as well.

What are your favorite "nonfiction" shows?

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