CLARK: The reality show | Opinion


Sometimes I feel like we have our own reality TV show. After all, we meet the necessary criteria. There is almost always a challenge / problem. And finally, we come to some sort of solution. What gets tricky is the whole drama that ensues between the problem and the solution. Situations invariably arise that require immediate attention.

Reality TV shows (as well as some docuseries and documentaries) abound, both on network TV and through various streaming platforms. They all have the same formula. One example is the hugely popular Fixer Upper television series, starring Waco’s Chip and Joanna Gaines. They pick a house – usually a house that requires a lot of work – buy it for a relatively low price, and at the end of the hour, it’s a centerpiece.

Another reality show, The Deadliest Catch, is full of drama. We are talking about what appears to be a life and death drama. Will the captain and crew get the catch and come home with their loot? Adrenaline junkies must love it.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, our kids asked us to sit with them and watch the Amazon Prime documentary, The Biggest Little Farm. I cannot count the number of times we have taken a tour of the farm and someone has asked if we have seen the show. When I broadcast videos, it’s almost always for entertainment, to escape reality. It’s the same when I read. I avoid self-help books and how-to videos. But when our kids asked, I thought it was time to take a look at what everyone was talking about.

I have to be honest: I cringed, knowing (or suspecting) what would happen in different scenarios – like when the chickens weren’t properly protected. Still, I’m glad we watched it. It gave us and me in Houston some ideas of things we could try on our own farm.

If you haven’t seen The Biggest Little Farm yet, I encourage you to do so. At the very least, it will make you happy that you chose a different profession. But there is also a chance that it will give you a grateful heart to the farmers.

Sometimes when I watch shows like this I just want to see the beginning and the end, preferring to skip the drama in the middle. The only flaw in this plan is that I miss the process. It’s the same with our own little reality TV show. I really want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. But it’s along the way that meaningful things happen, relationships deepen, and real growth happens. This is where the good stuff is.

Sherry Asbury Clark is co-founder of Purdon Groves and a freelance writer. His column, Discovering a Small Town, appears weekly in the Corsicana Daily Sun. You can reach her at [email protected] For more information on Purdon Groves, a retreat farm, table, location, and property, check out or visit their Instagram or Facebook pages.


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