The Reality of Reality TV

We’ve been manipulated to to believe that this is real entertainment, but is it really?

The Reality of Reality TV

By Emily Hawkins, Staff Writer

The Bachelor, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the Real Housewives, the Biggest Loser- what do they all have in common? They are all “reality” television. About 39% of the American population watch reality shows, and it’s because we all take guilty indulgences in seeing the drama play out in complete stranger’s lives, but why?  Is it because we seek different dilemmas played out on screen for our own entertainment, or do we find satisfaction in comparing our own lives to theirs?

We all take guilty indulgences in seeing the drama play out in complete stranger’s lives”

Reality shows have very consistent patterns, and they all have one thing in common – drama. Whether it’s moms yelling at each other over whose young daughter will be given a solo on Dance Moms or it’s Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian going at each other’s throats over who is wealthiest, you will undoubtedly get some “unscripted” drama. It’s because television producers know that we really do adore the fake drama.  We can’t help but  fall for their staged and scripted entertainment and their ridiculous shenanigans.

Another issue with reality TV is that it allows us to dream about gaining a high status through processed and unearned fame. Ordinary Americans, like ourselves, can watch these shows and see people that were once like them, and fantasize that they could also become A-List stars by simply being on our TV screens. You can completely submerge yourself into celebrities lives and get off of your roller coaster of problems and hop onto theirs for a short, yet blissful hour.

We take satisfaction in watching the gradual deterioration of the participants of said shows. People hate to be publicly humiliated, and when they are, they want to shrivel up into a hole and never come out. Watching a beloved persona on television crash and burn in front their own eyes, makes up for that gut wrenching feeling we all get after a slight slip-up.

Despite all the obvious problems with reality television, it’s still a natural thing for humans to enjoy. We take what we can get. We’re told to eat what’s on our plate and to not make any excuses. And that’s what’s happening with our entertainment. What’s popular right now is reality shows. So we just watch.

We’re taught that it’s real, no if’s, and’s, or but’s. We’re just supposed to watch.