You Can Actually Learn Something From Reality TV

I was told recently that I’m a reality TV junkie, and while contrary to popular belief, I don’t profess to love so called reality shows–I’m finding myself into the History Channel and PBS lately! BUT I can’t seem to help getting sucked into the “Celebreality” type shows on channels like VH1. My newest indulgence has been the truly silly “I Love New York”, which for those of you as sucked in as I am, have followed this spin-off from the equally silly Flavor of Love series starring the rapper Flavor Flav. For those of you with better things to do with your time, I’ll give a re-cap: the show is based around an African-American woman named Tiffany, better known to the world as “Miss New York” and it follows her in a dating-like game of suitors who live in a house with her and compete for her love, with each week an elimination round and 2 men getting the boot. Final goal – to be the last man standing and win New York’s heart. Of course the cast of characters is perfectly scripted, with men pushing their own agendas (like passing out their mix tapes!) and others looking for their 15 minutes of fame while having nervous breakdowns. The contestants range from the ones you find yourself oddly rooting for to the ones you know the producers just keep on the show to make good TV–and overwhelmingly the cast of men is African-American as well–with one notable exception: My new favorite character, Mr. Boston.

Why is he my new favorite character you’re wondering? Well, this week’s episode featured the men going to church with Miss New York and her mother (a fixture on the show and a real lay down the law kind of lady!). New York considers herself a religious woman and felt it was important that the men experience a church service with her. I’ll be honest, I was half-paying attention at this point (didn’t want to lose too many brain cells watching this show!) – until I hear New York say how nice it was of Mr. Boston to come to church with her anyway even though it wasn’t his tradition. Now THAT caught my attention! Next thing I know, they do the little “interview” with Mr. Boston where he tells viewers that he feels a little strange going to church because, well, he’s Jewish, but since he grew up in an interfaith family, he thought they’d be ok with it and he wanted to show Miss New York that he was willing to be supportive of her. Now of all things I expected to see on this show, THAT was not one of them! So of course the rest of the show was spent in speculation that Mr. Boston was going to get the old heave-ho at the end of the episode, because let’s face it, how much do the two of them really have in common? But much to everyone’s surprise (and Miss New York’s mother!) – Mr. Boston was the last contestant chosen to remain in house and compete for New York’s love.

I was stunned by this new development, and of course now I feel like I have to continue to tune in and see how far Mr. Boston is going to make it! It made me wonder if the producers are going to push the idea of this interfaith issue – or if anything else is going to happen with it on this show; I guess we’ll have to wait and see what they do with it. Of course now I’m intrigued, and yesterday when I told Micah about the episode (and promised him I’d blog about it today), we started doing some research, and Micah in his infinite wisdom, managed to find Mr. Boston, live in person, and he’s going to be interviewing him very, very soon – so stay tuned! Of course he’s not allowed to tell us if and when he gets kicked off the show, so we’ll just have to tune in and see.

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