Laser Time – The True Story Of Reality TV


From the genre’s origin, to our guilty pleasures, to the best parodies of the worst people, we’re telling the true (and often hilarious) story of reality TV


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34 thoughts on “Laser Time – The True Story Of Reality TV

  1. Waiting for the drop to iTunes so I can listen at work. Looking forward to hearing some presidential quotes from the mighty trump King of justice and just a tremendous guy.

  2. I haven’t listened to the episode yet, but (based on the title) I love the idea of an LT episode that’s more a chronological breakdown of a medium. The idea of offering an audio history of something is a really cool idea.

  3. I’m not even done with this episode and I had to rewatch GR’s Yoostar video. What a great video. Tuesday’s stream may need to be all Yoostar.

  4. You guys brought me back so much horrible repressed memories watching reality shows, the Osbourne’s, hogan knows best, all utter trash, I’m also disappointed that you didn’t bring up beauty and the geek during the dating show segment. Ugh never mind I feel dirty now.

  5. Did you know that one of the game journalists from Destructoid started out on Road Rules: northern trail? Jonathan Holmes from Massachusetts got his start in reality TV, and is still writing for Dtoid. Met him at PAX East few years back, great guy.

  6. I feel like podcasts can be the sort of reality programming I like. Bonus Time may be the closest on the Laser Time network, where there doesn’t need to be a topic, and we just get to enjoy time with people we enjoy. I’ve listened to the Tell ’em Steve Dave podcast for a long time, which is several of Kevin Smith’s friends, who were interesting enough to listen to without Kevin, and when they got the TV Comic Book Men it still had enough of their personalities to watch, and the comic stuff is interesting enough, sort of like Marvel cards, just getting a little bit of info about stuff.

    I know Henry hates Drawn Together, and if it had been mentioned on this there would have been no end of his disgusted noises and moaning about it, but I liked it, too. It got to parody a lot of different stuff at the same time.

    Why no mention of reality shows’ popularity with women? Chris sort of mentions it with Heidi and Cheryl, but that’s a sort of interesting aspect to all this crap. And Brett really should have taken his stance on reality shows, and figured there was a better way to spend his time than be on this episode, he’s never much good on episodes that he really isn’t interested in.

    1. I asked not to be on so I could edit the 302010 April Fool’s show, but they really wanted that 4th mic person so we agreed to have me “voted off” for the second segment. Ya got kayfabed, bruh!

  7. Survivor actually did have a Celeb ed with that Heidi and Spencer couple, its like the 3rd time I ever watched survivor and it was an awful joke that makes me shocked its still on.

  8. So the repeated highlighting of the “nice, level-head, rational people who work hard are voted off first and the despicable, disgusting, and dishonest people win” trope of reality TV, well got me thinking… Game of Thrones…

  9. Henry whining about Trump and defending Kotaku in the same podcast, totally wasn’t expecting that.

    But otherwise, the podcast was pretty great.

  10. Good ep! Wish you guys would’ve covered more of the parodies (future episode maybe?) because there is so much…the two must mention parodies for me are Burning Love, which is a much watch for you guys given your love of The State/Human Giant/Apatow/Stiller etc.

    Then there’s The Onion’s Sex House, which is maybe the best, as wells as without a doubt the darkest parody of The Real Life that will ever be made. I could go on forever on why it’s so great, but you’re better off just watching for yourself because it is so good.

    I’ve also been meaning to check out a newish scripted show called unREAL, that follows two producers for a fake Bachelor-esque show in their bending of reality. It’s supposed to be pretty great, so yeah

  11. I watched the hell out of the Australian Versions of Big Brother and The Voice between 2012 and 2014. The channel cancelled Big Brother because they put it on a dumb times to fuck over it’s teen demographic. I had to stop watching The Voice because they brought on Jessie J as a coach and she was annoying as hell. I enjoyed my time with them both though.

  12. Great episode as usual guys. I’m with you I rarely watch reality shows, I’ve never liked the idea of that TV. It’s cheap and lazy and mostly incredibly forgettable. But my girlfriend, thanks to Netflixs is obsessed with RuPauls dragrace, so I now know more about the drag world than I ever thought possible.

  13. I haven’t listened to this episode yet (will do after this comment of course) but can I assume it’s just American reality shows? I’ve noticed a difference between US and UK shows in that while for both the “reality” is manufactured or at least forced by the producers, US more than often goes for more of a dramatic story or perilous conflict while the UK goes in for pure making fun of the contestants, at least in my experience. Heck, if we’re going to generalize even mainland Europe goes for just sex while in Asia they might as well be straight up torturing contestants. The conclusion, all reality TV is terrible no matter where you are.

    Then again, it makes for great parodies.

  14. This is a topic I’ve been anticipating for a long time! I have such a love/hate relationship with reality TV. It’s like the equivalent of fast food: cheap to produce, has little to no value, and everyone regrets enjoying some of it. My guilty pleasures were watching the first few seasons of Road Rules, followed by the first 8 seasons of Survivor (I legitimately love the intro theme song). I hide my love for reality competition shows, like Face Off or RuPaul’s Drag Race. But all of that garbage on TLC that’s essentially “hey, check out these freaks”, or the love themed reality shows all make me want to puke.

    1. Side note: When Dave corrects himself every time he says “China”, is he saying China like Christian Weston Chandler? I always assume he is and I burst into laughter every time Davey does it.

  15. While I hate it, American Idol has turned out a number of very successful artists.

    The biggest of which is probably Carrie Underwood who’s been a major force in country almost a decade now.

    Fantasia Barrino has also had a successful run on Broadway including the latest run of The Color Purple.

    And lest we forget Jennifer Hudson who won a Oscar!

    But to compare that to the number of “artists” they’ve had over the years…yeah the ratio isn’t good.

  16. My mom watched American Idol all the time when it first started so I was forced to suffer through it.

    I discovered last September-ish a reality show on VH1 that captured me. This show was called Dating Naked WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WOULD THINK. People are naked (they only show butts on the show but hey, that’s a win still) and awkwardly date. Lots of stupid drama and morons but still, I was curious enough. Plus all these people are naked so it works to that primal nature of our brains. I’d recommend everyone watch an episode just to see how silly (but mildly arousing) it is.

    OH and to point out, it is one guy and one girl who are both naked and “live” on the island who then go on dates with other naked people.

  17. I’ve never been a fan of reality tv, it just seemed like drama laced garbage entertainment. the worst part of it is that after more than a decade of this kind of stuff it spilled over into REAL reality and now everyone acts in an overly dramatic way like the cameras are always on. I mean I know they kind of are since everyone has camera phones and stuff but it’s really weird when you get this level of drama in a button shirt cubicle corporate job.
    I find it funny how Brett just clocked out for this episode and we only heard him for the first few minutes. I listened to it because I got my reality tv knowledge only through osmosis, never first hand not even with the original Real World. my older sister watched that, but I couldn’t give a care in the world about stuff that wasn’t scripted.

  18. The Real World started when I was in high school. I really liked the first two seasons, but couldn’t get into season 3 and quite watching afterwards. I really liked season 2. The John, Tammy, Dominic trinity was always kinda fun to watch. I read not too long ago that John is now an evangelist preacher with his own church. I know. Big surprise.

  19. There was a very long period of time when I thought scripted TV was on its last legs, and that all that would be on in the future was talent shows. Thank fuck I was so wrong. There is a reality show that I would like to mention, though: Manhunt. It was part of the first wave of Survivor clones back in 2001, and involved 3 overly-muscular people with paintball guns hunting the contestants on an island. It was incredibly terrible, but in the best possible way. I can barely find any info on it, but…apparently John Cena was the host?? What???

    Also, Dave can always be counted on to bring in the weird topics that I didn’t know I wanted until I listen to the episode.

  20. I’ve never really been in to them. The first Survivor yes, following ones no. First Big Brother yes, following Big Brothers no. 16 and Pregnant I thought was an interesting idea. Could serve as a cautionary tail, educate the kids just how different life is with a child; let alone when your so young yourself. But then of course it did the exact opposite and turned into a casting call.

    Used to watch Hell’s Kitchen too, but again the manufacturing and editing eventually got to much for me. Same goes for it’s spin off Kitchen Nightmares; which has a UK version Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. I think it came first. Anyway It’s a very different show in terms of tone and presentation. At least the one episode I watched was.

    Bonus: Fun video showing some tricks used in editing:

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