Rita, I can't disagree about The Amazing Race, even though I'm still watching it. (While I'm doing 2 or 3 other things.) The way the current legs are revisiting some tasks from the very first race, and showing brief clips of the very first round of racers (Kevin and Drew!), only reinforces it. To recover what it was 14 years ago, they would have to stop recruiting celebrity-wannabe teams and stick to regular people... and they're not about to do that.

By contrast, of late I've been enjoying PBS's The Great British Baking Show (a renaming of the BBC's The Great British Bake Off), which has finished its 6th season there, and is in the midst of reairing them here. It's a touching reminder of what once seemed to be the appeal of reality competitions: watching people who are good at something show their skills, and learning things I otherwise wouldn't have known. No villains, no manufactured character arcs, no rivalries -- in fact lots of support and camaraderie among the bakers.

Plus, for an Anglophile like me, the appeal of those baking items that are generally only references in books: suet pudding, Chelsea buns, spotted dick, hand-raised meat pies, and all the rest. And Continental ringers like the Swedish princess torte and the frasier cake.