I watch a lot of reality TV. It’s a secret shame that I can’t share with my boyfriend, who is generally mega-tolerant of my TV preferences, but just cannot hang with “The Real Housewives of Douche Town” or whatever. I can respect that. It’s terrible stuff, really — an entire TV culture built around ridiculing the rich (or sort of rich) to make us feel better about ourselves. Or showing us how people who make duck whistles live, or the dark side of the pawn business. Did you ever know you needed to know these things? Because, yeah. Things certainly have changed since “The Real World: New York.” But I still love it.
With that in mind, PBS came up with a pithy new ad campaign, designed to make you really question what “reality” that reality TV is presenting. They’ve created a series of fake TV shows posted alongside the phrase “The fact that you thought was a real TV show says a lot about the state of TV.” So with that in mind, we’ve got a test for you. Can you tell which of these is a real TV show and which is part of PBS’s campaign? No cheating!
1. “Bayou Eskimos.” A family of Inuits move down south to experience a different way of life. Talk about culture shock!
2. “8th & Ocean.” A group of hot models living in Miami make a summertime full of bad choices and house hookups.
3. “Bag Boys.” The employees at a Mobile, Alabama, Stop ‘N’ Shop get into a grocery cart’s worth of trouble!
4. “Bull Run.” Twelve teams compete in a race around the world. That’s pretty much it.
5. “The Colony.” Ten people voluntarily choose to live in a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
6. “The Dillionaire.” This series follows Scott “Jellybird” Claussen, the eccentric heir to the Claussen pickle fortune.
7. “BBQ Pitmasters.” Top barbecuers BBQ lots of meats. One is crowned the winner and gets all the pitmaster glory.
8. “Half Pint Brawlers.” Exactly what it sounds like — little people wrestling.
9. “Married To A Mime.” She’s a mom who also happens to be married to a guy who mimes for a living. It’s weird!
10. “Starting Over.” Life coaches work with a house full of hot messes to transform their lives from drab to fab.
Real: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10
Fake: 1, 3, 6, 9