“Oh my God! I can’t believe he’s dumping her!”, “What a witch!”, or, “They are soooo crazy!” These are just a few typical viewer responses you may have heard before (or may have made yourself) as they become hooked on so-called “reality” shows. What viewers don’t understand (or seem to care about) is that these shows are NOT actual reality, but rather totally scripted shows that include an overload of drama and ridiculous characters (think Jersey Shore and Tila Tequila).
I myself have never been interested in reality shows, but I know many people (my own daughter included) who follow them very closely and LOVE them. It’s annoying to me because I don’t feel that reality shows fit into any legitimate category for entertainment (yet they are taking over the airwaves!). Yes, people are entertained by these shows (obviously), but to me, the characters on these shows are just regular (or highly un-regular?) people who don’t have any true acting skills or special talents. I can’t get myself to spend valuable time watching the characters on these shows pretend like they’re having these complex and dramatic issues (although I have to admit, I’ve caught a few commercials and found some to be so ridiculous, I had to laugh). Some people wonder whether certain shows that depict reality in another light are considered “reality” shows like all the rest of them. For example, World’s deadliest catch, 48 hours, Intervention, etc. I do view these types of shows completely different than I would view an MTV show like True Life, Made, or VH1’s Holly’s World and The Kardashian’s.
The reason I would (and do) spend any time watching the latter types of reality shows is because I definitely feel like I can learn something from them and they do not add (for the most part) extra drama in order to sustain viewer attention. It really comes down to a matter of preference in deciding to watch these different types of reality shows or not. I just wish more people would realize that the drama-filled reality shows they get so hooked on are not actual reality. Too many young people (girls in particular) who watch these shows, get a distorted view of the real world and I believe that these shows are largely unhealthy and serve no real purpose for the majority of it’s viewers. Reality shows continue to sweep the airwaves, however, and their fans go to great lengths to make sure they don’t miss an episode (Tivo, On Demand, etc.). This dedication and demand, I believe, will ensure that reality shows, as we know them, will beat on long and strong.