Reality Shows Kids Watch

Filed under: New In Pop Culture

With so much unscripted programming on television these days, you might wonder who's watching it. Turns out the answer is: Our kids!

Surprise, surprise. A lot of reality shows are being enjoyed by children as young as 7 or 8 years old. Here are some examples:

Top Chef: Who knew cooking was so fascinating? Obviously it's the drama, not the food, although breaking out the liquid nitrogen to make bacon ice cream doesn't hurt. And boys who are discovering the opposite sex probably don't mind watching Padma Lakshmi.Total Drama Island: Though it's not technically a reality show, it is Cartoon Network's spoof of the genre, which implies that the kids who watch it are very familiar with various reality TV staples, such as being voted off the island and the now-stock characters -- "Party Girl", "Guy Who Speaks with No Filter," and so on.




American Idol: Not only do they listen to the music, they watch the show. In fact, they may watch the show more than they listen to the music. I'll give you Kelly Clarkson, but how many kids do you know who own a Taylor Hicks CD?




Dancing With The Stars: It may feature lithesome bodies intertwining seductively, but young kids don't know that. Or maybe they do and we don't want to admit it. Either way, this ABC hit features excellent dancing (duh), and the eliminations are less of a big deal since the contestants are all supposed to be "stars." Most kids don't know who's B-List or D-List. Then again, maybe they do.




Man vs. Wild: This could get a little intense for younger children, but for kids of a certain age, any show that demonstrates how to get water out of fresh elephant dung will have a certain appeal. Yes, it's a little gross. But it's on Discovery Channel -- it's educational. You never know when you might get left behind at the circus and have to survive on...

What reality shows do your kids watch?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.