For me, Friends is like a children's story-book: familiar, cosy and predictable. Reality shows, though, stir up a different set of emotions. As I watched one particularly smarmy contestant on The Apprentice last year badmouth another, I wondered what on earth attracted me to these types of shows. Is it the Coliseum mentality -- getting pleasure from watching humans duke it out in the ring? Is it voyeurism, a sneak peak into someone else's life? Or is it the thrill of watching someone achieve their dreams, a la American Idol?
Probably, it's a combination of the three. I love watching raw human emotion on screen, seeing people react to the twists and turns producers throw at them. I'm a shameless crier when the winner is crowned in any talent competition. And I love listening to contestants run each other down (not an admirable trait, I admit).
Most of all, I can't help but wonder why people are so eager to go on these sorts of shows. It's this curiosity that led me to write my current novel, The Hating Game, where the main character goes on a reality show in order to win some prize money to save her business. I knew my telly watching would come in handy: I hardly had to do any research!
What about you? Do you switch on the television at night? And if so, what do you watch?