From flower arranging to glass blowing, reality TV is not what it used to be.
Staff writer Ashley Lee wrote about extreme reality competition shows. And in an interview for "LA Times Today," she joined host Lisa McRee to explain why they are such a big hit.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Lee says she felt overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the coronavirus and found comfort in these reality shows.
“I felt so soothed, calmed, and relaxed by watching people express themselves through these very specifically creative things, whether it is glass blowing or flower arranging," Lee said. "That is what got me through last year. And there are so many television shows that play with this angle, so I had a lot of fun writing about it.”
As part of her reporting, Lee spoke to a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist and found out that watching somebody else being satisfied from creating something so beautiful sets off the same neural circuits for people watching them. And, one of the shows Lee mentions is “The Great Pottery Throw Down” on HBO Max.
“The thing about the relaxing tone of the show is that these are people competing at a high level, but it is still their hobby," Lee said. "So, you have people that are throwing pottery while they have full-time jobs, and it is just because it brings them so much joy. When they are on this television show, it is not cutthroat competition, which is great because you see people helping each other, you see people encouraging each other, and appreciating each other’s work."
Another show Lee mentions in her story is “Lego Masters,” which airs on Fox.
“The show has teams of two people, and their challenge is to build a bridge that can hold up to 1,000 pounds," Lee added. "In other episodes, you have to build a bridge that can explode; you have to build a parade float that has motion. And, these are Legos, but everyone is so kind, and it is such a funny show."
Lee says there are various television shows that focus on specific floral tasks.
“We have “Clipped” on Discovery+, which is all about topiary, so that is more outdoor structures," Lee said. "And then we have HBO Max’s “Full Bloom,” which is about flower arranging. But then Netflix also has “The Big Flower Fight,” which is more about floral installations. So, we are getting to the point where we have nuanced extreme creativity reality competition.”
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