Posted by: mollyrossiter | January 27, 2009

What would you do?

By and large, I am not a big fan of reality television. Who the bachelor or bachelorette is going to pick is none of my concern — and frankly, I’m appalled at the women and men who put themselves up for that sort of competition — and watching a group of strangers living together in one big house brings back too many unfavorable college memories.

There is a relatively new show produced by ABC News and hosted by ABC’s John Quinones, however, that I really like.

The show, “What would you do?” creates fake situations and secretly tapes how real people react. In one scene, a man is sitting at a bar while his date excuses herself to go to the restroom. While she is gone, he drugs her drink. It takes three tapings to find someone who actually speaks up and says something to the man and then to his date.

In another scenario several people are standing in a checkout line and a person with one or two items asks to be allowed to go next. When he gets to the counter, he becomes the store’s one millionth customer and wins $500 — generally to the chagrin of the person who let him in line.

I like this show for a number of reasons, but mostly because of the way it creates my own character assessment each time I watch it. Would I have spoken up and said something to the man drugging the drink, or would I have done what others did, paid my bill and left? How would I react if a good deed resulted in someone else collecting what could have been my prize?

The episode airing tonight at 9 p.m. brings two more situations to light, one a fun and light-hearted one and the other more serious. The light-hearted situation deals with real-life wedding crashers and how you would handle those at your own wedding or your daughter’s wedding. The next addresses real estate open houses and thefts that may occur. You see someone walking through the house and they pick up a piece of jewelry or a small trinket — what do you do?

While the show brings larger situations to light, we often find ourselves in much smaller situations that could cause a small bit of immediate embarrassment but deter a bigger spectacle later: you see someone with lettuce in their teeth and know they’re off to an important meeting, or a co-worker emerges from the restroom with toilet paper stuck to her shoe. Do you say something, and if so, how do you do it tactfully?

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