September 17, 2010

Top ten most annoying reality show cliché lines

Blog, as you have no doubt observed, here at Magic House we watch a ridiculous amount of reality competition shows.  And if you spend 3,578 hours/week watching this programming like we do, you are quickly going to notice that certain phrases keep popping up again and again.

Now I have never had to live in a house with a dozen or more strangers who are either slightly dysfunctional, determined to bring about my demise, or both.  I have never had to go on two hours of sleep a night for six weeks, haunted by dreams of white cubicles demanding to be decorated, or blocks of knives demanding to be drawn.  I have never had to stand before several people I respect and admire and listen to them tell me what a crap job I just did.  I understand these competitors may not be at their best, wittiness-wise.

[NOTE: We have chosen a variety of reality show competitors to illustrate this post.  I really liked a couple of them and thought they were quite talented, while a couple of them were obnoxious and/or should have gone home much earlier to my way of thinking.  But I don't mean to attribute any of these lines specifically to them or them only.  Well, certainly not them only.]

But that having been said, let's just acknowledge that the stuff they tell the camera in those mini-interviews is completely interchangable.  I'll bet before the season begins, each one of them is put in a room with the filming team, and asked to record these various standard lines so they can be used throughout the series at key moments.  Let's just review what those lines might be:

1.  "I had to think outside the box."
Did you?  Or maybe "outside the bag," or "outside the confines of my clearly limited imagination"?

2.  "It was time to step up to the plate." 
This one always makes us think, well, sometimes people who step up to the plate strike out, buddy.  It's SO much better, therefore, to choose cliché #3:

3.  "I needed to hit it out of the park."
Thank you.

4.  "It was time to go big or go home."
In other words, "I realize what I'm doing here is really out there, but if anyone wonders what the hell I was thinking, I can point out that I felt it was time to 'go big.'"

5.  "I can't believe he would throw me under the bus like that."
The fact that "throw me under the bus" is used at least 57,078 times in any reality competition series should have tipped you off that it might end up happening to you.

6. "I'm in it to win it."
Yeah, you and everyone else in the history of competition, televised and non-. This gives you an edge how?

7.  "I didn't come here to make friends."
Translation:  "There's no reason to try to behave like a civilized human being under these circumstances.  I have carte blanche to be an asshole, awesome!!"  Are we really supposed to believe "I didn't come here to make friends" will make you sound like nothing but a tough competitor? 

8.  "One of us is going home today."
REALLY???  Are you sure???  Wow, who knew?

9.  "I had to be true to my personal style."
"Being true to oneself" is the ultimate excuse in reality competitions.  You can fall back on it no matter what the judges have said about your work...because obviously they just didn't get it, and your personal integrity simply kept you from being a sellout.  Pretty tricky; can't blame people for pulling this one out so much!

10.  "Thank you for the opportunity."
I actually have no objections to this one, the most often used reaction of the eliminated competitor.  Because while of course they are all "in it to win it," most challengers will not win.  Nevertheless, the experience of going through competition is always instructive and beneficial.  A cliché, but true, wouldn't you say, Blog?

So, readers...did we miss any?

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