It’s that time of the TV year when everything else is background and 7-8 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays becomes sacred. That’s when I lust over watch Jeff Probst preside over the disintegration of carefully molded alliances and then ponder the detached imponderability of Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan. Survivor is my absolutely favorite TV show of all time. I love the backstabbing and lies and conniving and skulduggery — and that’s just the first episode. Amazing Race, for me, is less about the personalities and more about the intriguing idea of racing around the world with only a backpack when it takes me two pieces of luggage just to go to the nearest Big City for a weekend. I watch to learn. And this season on Survivor, we’ve got two Alabama contestants and one from Nashville, Tennessee, so I always root for the hometown folks. I also predict Sandy will be among the first to go and Benjamin will be trouble. In Amazing Race, I’ve got Mark and Michael pegged for an early exit, which is sad because those are my brothers’ names. But if reality TV teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t let sentiment — or honesty or friendship or kindness or any of those other peskily inconvenient values — get in the way. Don’t you love it?