Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reality VS Real TV

Oops! I'm almost late putting this up. Thank you Deb for making the reminders that pop up!

I spent eight days with my dad helping him as he recovers from heart surgery. During that time I managed to make some progress on my mystery book. I also had to watch such shows as Pawn Stars, Swamp People, and  Pickers. While I know these are "made up" reality TV shows there was a portion of them that showed some great and not so great human characteristics.

Pawn Stars is a family run pawn store in Las Vegas that has one of the dumbest employees. I'm surprised he's alive he is so unintelligent. It makes me wonder if he is that way in real life or a put-on for the show. I don't believe anyone can be that dimwitted. And his name...Chumley. What do you think? Is that character a completely made up character just to keep the show from being boring?

Swamp People. They have(can't think of the word) what people say written at the bottom of the TV screen. My dad said because they are Cajun and no one can understand them. I say it's because they don't have any teeth and no one can understand them. ;) And just like all shows they have the good gator hunters and the not so nice gator hunters. After all you have to have a villain or two to make the story/show interesting. What I found interesting was the team of two women is the easiest to understand(they have teeth) and the neatest dressed other than the father and son Native American team(who also have teeth). And of course the bully team are big burly guys who pull in the wimpiest gators.

I like Pickers.  It was interesting to see what the "pickers" deemed good finds and what they deemed junk and to see all the stuff some people collect. Again, great character studies of the people who collected. Why a certain item and how they lived.

While I'm not a huge TV or movie watcher, I did find my evenings watching theses shows at my dad's an interesting way to enhance my writing.

Do you watch a certain show or shows to help you gain insight into a character or an idea for a book?

As a reader do you like when characters have motivations for the way they act or do you take their actions for granted?


Anonymous said...

Hi Paty, I too have watched some of those shows as well, with my gramps. I have to thoroughly agree with all your analizations...but also found Pickers to be my favorite of them. When I'm not home at the ranch I never watch them on my computer, just simply do not have time for that junk.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

The only time I've seen these shows is accidentally when I was at someone else's house and the show was on. :)

However, I have watched some shows or videos my expert contacts in a certain field have recommended as most realistic. For instance, the ones that show firemen or EMTs or police in action to jump-start an action scene I've never experienced. And that's been helpful.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Becca, I don't watch those shows at all unless visiting like Genene. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

Hi Genene, There is too much to do to waste time watching unreality, reality TV. Right? Is COPS one of the shows they recommend to watch? My husband and son-in-law watch it but I'm not fond of it.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Hi, Paty! Don't remember if COPS was one of the recommended shows or not. It's been awhile since I did a show-watching stint for research. The one that stuck in my mind was an EMT friend recommended the old "Emergency" shows--which I remembered from their original run. Of course, some stuff is dated, but he said they did a good job of making things realistic. Talk about a flashback! LOL!

Meggan McQuaid said...


I don't like swamps, and I totally agree with you about Chumley, but I find Pickers to be pretty interesting. My husband and I both like garage sales and estate sales, and Pickers is like one of those but private. I find it amazing to see what people will hold on to. Pickers is also a good show to listen to while I'm folding laundry.

As far as using these kinds of shows to inform my characters, I hadn't thought about it before! I guess that's why I read blogs :)

Also, sending best wishes for your dad's continued recovery.

Paty Jager said...

Genene, Emergency was a long time ago! But I remember the show well.

Meggan, I think it's great when people can look at something and see it's potential, not so much for money but how they can use it.

Thank you everyone for the well wishes for my dad, He's coming along nicely.