My favorite reality show is The Amazing Race. I never miss it - probably because I can somewhat identify with it. During my life I have been very fortunate and have traveled far and wide - I've been on five of the seven continents. (Sorry Ozzies and penguins) New places, languages and cultures fascinate me.
But, if you are a fan, you can't help but acknowledge that The Amazing Race has a very "non-traditional agenda". And by non-traditional I don't just mean "freak show". Rarely do you see a happily married couple on the show. Lots of dating couples, gay couples, lesbian couples, siblings, parent/child couples. This year there are absolutely ZERO married couples in the Race. None. It is obviously agenda-driven.
However, I think I can understand why. A few years back, two happily-married couples (Rob & Amber of Survivor fame, and Uchenna and Joyce) left the other competitors so far in the dust that I don't even remember who took third place.
Basically, happily married couples make boring TV. They don't fight, there are no histrionics, they work together, and they are having fun. Who wants to watch that when you can see fireworks and drama in the dysfunctional couples. (Jonathan and Victoria anyone?)
Even less riveting television would be a happily-married Mormon couple. How do I know this? Experience. My EC and I wouldn't make for very interesting television. We know each other so well we can finish each others sentences, and know what the other wants or needs without asking. We hardly ever fight. We are very efficient when we need to get things done. We would be boring.
Apparently, CBS realized this after they attempted an Amazing Race with a Mormon couple. I found this "top-secret" transcript of one of the legs of the race online. Hyrum and Tami were their names, but they never made it on TV.
Phil's Voice: After the last leg of the Race, the racers find themselves in a small village in the Guangxi Province of China.
Tami opens clue: Roadblock
Phil's Voice: A Roadblock is a task that only one team member may perform.
Tami reads: Visit the village school and learn the Chinese National Anthem from the students.
Hyrum: I got this. See you in a little bit. (Gives Tami kiss on the cheek, and jogs down the road.)
Tami: This should be easy for him. I think I'll go find something to do.
Later, Tami and Hyrum are reunited at the clue box. Hyrum opens clue.
Phil's voice: Proceed to the next pit stop at the Lijiang River Dock. Warning, the last team to arrive may be eliminated.
Tami and Hyrum begin walking to the pit stop.
Tami: What took so long?
Hyrum: Well, you know I speak Cantonese from my mission, so the song was easy. Since nobody else had shown up yet, I taught the kids our National Anthem too. It was fun.
Tami: I'm glad it was fun, but it still seemed like a long time for two songs.
Hyrum: Well, I noticed that there was a leak in the roof, so I got a couple of guys to help me find some corrugated metal and we fixed it.
Tami: Oh, that was sweet of you. (kiss)
Hyrum: Thanks. What did you do while I was gone?
Tami: Well, down the road I found an orphanage, so I went in to see what I could do.
Hyrum: How did you do that? You don't speak Cantonese.
Tami: Well, turns out it was run by French nuns, and I speak French from my BYU Study Abroad semester. They were really sweet.
Hyrum: What did you do?
Tami: I taught the little girls how to make scrunchies for their hair out of scrap cloth. I figured if they could sell some and help fund the orphanage.
Hyrum: That's awesome! But how are they going to sell them?
Tami: Well, the sisters had internet access, so I created a blog so that people can make donations and order scrunchies, then I Facebooked it to all my friends. We had a dozen orders before I left.
Hyrum: It has been a good day.
Tami: It sure has. I love you.
Hyrum and Tami arrive at the mat and look around, but Phil hasn't arrived yet.
Hyrum: Looks like we beat Phil here again. Third time.
Tami: While we're waiting. let's go see if we can find someplace that sells Diet Coke. I'm dying.
See? It would never work on network TV.