and Say Yes to the Dress (TLC http://tlc.discovery.com/tv-schedules/series.html?paid=2.14966.55906.34776.x ).
Where else can you get a feel for the attitudes, language, mannerisms, and culture of a milieu that you might not ever have access to? We don’t have alligators in Boise, nor do we have a lot of gypsy weddings. Thar’s gold in them episodes, even if you subtract about 10 percent of the most intense reactions as being due to the presence of the camera. Before reality TV, a writer had to physically visit and spend time in an environment that was unique or previously undescribed. With PBS (http://www.pbs.org/ ), and the National Geographic Channel (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/taboo/all/Overview?source=banner_semybngc_179 ), viewers (writers) have access to excellent documentaries on a wider variety of subjects than ever before. It’s like having your very own living encyclopedia at your fingertips. Channel surfing isn’t just for Spongebob anymore.