Once upon a time, when I was a boy, there was no "Reality TV". This is one of the many gosh-you're-old revelations that I will give little C.C. one day, but for now it's suitable for a blog post.
There are no reality TV shows that I currently watch on a regular or even an irregular basis. In fact, there is only one reality show that I have ever watched an entire season of: Season One of The Apprentice.
The premise (A wide range of people coming on to show what they had to offer through a series of contests) was well trod by 2004 as Survivor entered eighth (!?!) season, but The Apprentice worked the formula very well. The challenges were interesting and the suspense actually palpable. Even "The Donald" managed to not be too overbearing in this first season.
Overall, I enjoyed how it ended. Though it seems at odds with the whole cut-throat business theme, Season One proved that this sort of behavior doesn't always have to hold sway. There was genuine affection between contestants (most memorably between Troy and Kwame). The final two of Kwame and Bill provided an interesting profile of success: They hadn't made a huge amount of noise during the competition, and they certainly weren't perfect in their performance, but they were dedicated, levelheaded and had more scruples than most. As a viewer, I was genuinely comfortable with either person winning. More importantly, they seemed to be as well.
Now, of course, the show is in it's ninth season and is using washed-up celebrities like Joan Rivers and Bret Michaels to compete. This seems incredibly boring to me (We didn't like these people much to begin with. That's why they're washed up). But the show is still on so somebody must be enjoying it. The days of Kwame and Bill are probably long past. As evidence, YouTube user Richfofo created two clip shows proving the mindset of the majority of reality contestants. More's the pity.