Unique careers, lives explored in reality fare
Outstanding Reality ProgramEmmy loves a well-rounded, albeit complicated, life. This year’s noms are all about the day-to-day stuff — pack rats, junkies, gay friends, crappy jobs, puppies and, depending on how dangerous your day gets — sharks. It’s educational and teaching news you can use. Whether it’s how to potty train your pit bull or send your kid to rehab, television has embraced our ordinary challenges. Get your heirlooms appraised on “Antiques Roadshow”: Nominated yet again, perhaps the seventh time will be the charm for Mark Wahlberg and the hard-working appraisers of gems and tat hauled in by calculating collectors. Who doesn’t have an alcoholic aunt? A druggie boyfriend? Four-time nominee “Intervention” gives viewers an unblinking warts-and-all look at the foibles of friends and family — and how to cope. Or not. With two wins and two other noms, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” is obviously popular with Emmy voters. The flame-haired gal, a champion of LGBT marriage rights, confronts all with her in-their-face humor and message of equality. The very graphic, very dirty “Dirty Jobs” weighs in with two previous noms. Disgusting, yet strangely fascinating, the show ranges from the filthy to the irksome. Occupations from bologna makers to maggot farmers to sheep castrators are graphically depicted. America, there’s a job in this economy if you really want it. This year, if smooth-talking Cesar Millan has any luck, Emmy will go to the dogs. No pet is too much to handle for the three-time nominated “Dog Whisperer.” With its first Emmy nom, “MythBusters” is the new kid on the reality block. Featuring a cast that’s a cross between the Hardy Boys and Cheech and Chong, this show comes off like a bunch of enthusiastic high school kids messing around at a science fair. To test the myth that sharks love to snack on dogs, the “Busters” built a robotic canine, complete with intestinal fluids. The clever herd of circling man-eaters did not chomp on the bait.