We all know the formula. Throw a group of ethnically diverse people together to do complete some unusual task and set them loose. Open up a video confessional where individuals admit that deep down they loathe each other and think they stand above all the rest. Dabble in a bit of editing to add tense music and to make everything bad seem even worse. What do you get? A primetime powerhouse. What else do you get? the most vile piece of rubbish ever to hit the screen.
You get a show that celebrates hate, that encourages overreacting, and that entices the audience to throw their dinnerware at their television sets. You get people who make downright fools of themselves on national television. Secretly, they know it will pay off when they get their huge check/attractive mate/desirable job. Secretly, we desire to add insult to injury by not only letting them be as obscene as possible for our benefit, but also giving them nothing in return except a kick in the butt.
I personally don't find any joy in this. Perhaps I'm too sympathetic; I get irritated at all the contestants for being so insolent. I get irritated at the commercials for prolonging the inevitable. I get irritated at the jerk who chose this channel in the first place, because somehow I can't take my eyes away.
I guess that's why I hate reality TV shows the most: no matter how much you try, you can't stop watching until you've seen that the most ludicrously awful person gets what's coming to them.