When reality series PORTER RIDGE debuted on the Discovery Channel, it struck me as probably the most peculiar offering the network—maybe any network—had premiered to date. In fact, it still does. However, without fail, the show does what it is intended to do: It is entertaining.
Every time Terry Porter appears on the screen, I find myself ready to laugh. And, within seconds, I AM laughing. Whether it is listening to him talk about how he cannot afford electricity and toilet paper in the junkyard’s bathroom (except, of course for the elusive “Number 3”), explaining his distinctive take on numbers, or if it is just hearing him ramble in what apparently is a language he developed for his personal use only, Terry Porter just makes me laugh hysterically. And, of course, that is the point of the show: Entertainment.
There is a place for “serious” programming. There is a place for documentaries and biographies and all of those things and, I enjoy them immensely. In fact, I can sit and watch a great biography on most anyone, whether I’ve ever heard of them or not, and consider it time well-spent. And, okay, I’ll admit, Discovery Channel is probably not the place that one would automatically think of having a show like PORTER RIDGE—at least, it would not have been a few years ago. But, nowadays the channel seems to be striving to become the home of the outrageous reality show, and PORTER RIDGE certainly qualifies as that. So, it really should not come as a surprise, I guess, that PORTER RIDGE is now a part of its offerings.
Reality Show Snobbery
Some viewers complain that the participants of many reality shows are being taken advantage of, as if they do not have a choice as to whether or not to appear on the show, or that they are not being compensated for their time. But, you know, just because it may not be the path YOU would choose does not mean that a person who does is being “taken advantage of” in doing so. Perhaps the reason you think you wouldn’t choose to be on a reality show is because your life isn’t interesting enough to have the opportunity to make that choice. And, for some of the people doing reality shows nowadays, the chance to do the show may just be a Godsend—a financial boost or advertising windfall that they could not have hoped for in any other capacity. Who are we to make that call for them when such an opportunity comes their way?
So, really, for the reality-show snobs (you know who you are) just watch something else, stop painting reality casts as “victims,” and let the rest of us watch and enjoy the insanity while it lasts. And, I’ll guarantee: There is plenty of insanity to be found on PORTER RIDGE.
Porter Ridge airs on Discovery Channel on Tuesday nights at 10:30/9:30c.
Image: Discovery Channel