Reality TV is a genre filled to the brim with bad moments, so it’s nice when something uplifting happens. To rate my top five, it takes something that shows the good in mankind, as opposed to the unpleasantness view reality tv normally affords us – or something that just makes me really happy for any reason. When it makes me feel good, that is when I think reality tv achieves its best.
- “Yoji Gets His Name on the Window” on Miami Ink
Yoji has had a long hard road as an apprentice tattoo artist. The day he finally got his name on the window, I’m pretty sure I cried. And hard-bitten Ami James was so proud and so supportive. It was a touching thing to witness, especially when Yoji realized Ami was not, as he had feared, angry that they’d gone ahead and put his name up, but pleased that it was already done.
- “Kenley* Goes Home” on Project Runway 5Okay, this one really didn’t show the good in mankind, but after the way she treated everyone, including Tim Gunn & Heidi Klum (without whom there would have been no Project Runway), it was so nice to finally see that tugboat roll up and haul the obnoxious little twit away.
- “Jen Goes Home” on Hell’s Kitchen 4
Again, not a display of mankind at its best, but her exit was long overdue and it made me very happy. She was loud, spiteful, under-qualified and would throw any of the others under a bus if it would get her just a little ahead – or if she felt she had been slighted in some way, as she generally did.
- “Gordon Comforts the Non-Winner” on Hell’s Kitchen 4
It was easy to miss, if you weren’t paying close attention. Most people, I’m sure, were focused on the winner, Christina, and there is certainly no shame in that. Petrozza obviously wanted to win very badly – he’d said something about his age and this being maybe his last chance – and was clearly devastated by the loss. The minute Christina’s door opened and Petrozza’s didn’t, Gordon Ramsay was across that office hugging him, and took several minutes to speak with the number two Chef while people were congratulating Christina. I don’t know what he said, but it was clear that he didn’t want Louis Petrozza to give up and it was both heartbreaking and beautiful to watch.
- “Ami Animates” on Miami Ink
As previously stated, Ami would appear, under normal circumstances, to be a hard case. When viewed with children, particularly those with illnesses or disabilities, however, it is clear that his insides are much softer than his exterior. When he visited the children’s hospital, his interaction with the kids was a sight to behold. It made me want to do better things with my life and how often can you say that about reality tv?
*In the Top 5 Worst Article, her name was mistakenly printed spelled “Kinley”