Reality TV is a fad I expected to die out long ago.

I remember watching some of the first seasons of American Idol and the American version of Survivor. They were new and novel.

They were closely followed by many Kiwi families.

I never thought, 15 years later, 30 seasons of the American Survivor would have been made - with more on the way.

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Reality TV has come a long way since then, with dozens of shows covering every topic imaginable.

I've seen enough Survivor to last me a lifetime and I'm getting sick of X-Factor and the other variations of talent show competitions that are being made.

I don't watch a lot of TV these days but I have found myself watching, and thoroughly enjoying, Masterchef recently.

It largely lacks the drama and cattiness that put me off a lot of other reality shows.

I'd go as far as saying it's even educational.

A few years ago a red wine reduction, a herb emulsion or even a ceviche would have been terms used only by chefs, but now they are bandied about regularly - thanks in large part to such shows.

Televised cooking competitions are encouraging a generation to learn to cook again.

I enjoy cooking when I have the time to make something nice.

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Watching the show, I feel inspired to try out new dishes and expand my repertoire.

My Facebook feed suggests many of those who watch it are equally inspired.

In recent years, with women commonly going back to work after having kids and the emergence of more and more fast-food stores and ready-to-eat meals, cooking skills have declined.

It's great to see all ages enjoying cooking shows like Masterchef and learning new skills.

The shows make cooking cool for both men and women and shows how much of an art it can be.

I'm optimistic this reality TV trend is one that will pay dividends in the future.

Hopefully the next generation will make the time to cook and make healthier, tastier meals than many of today's generation.