In Defense of Reality Television
Reality TV is really, really easy to dislike – we all know this. I’m pretty tolerant of craptastic shows, movies, etc, but there are some that even I can’t handle. I’m talking to you, Teen Moms, Toddlers & Tiaras, and Real Housewives of any city! But I can’t take the high road, because I indulge in other pieces of reality TV trash like Jersey Shore, any competition show on Bravo, and my new favorites, the storage unit auction shows.
So yes, it’s easy to compile a list of all that’s wrong with reality television. But I’m not going to front like I’m too classy to enjoy the MTV Real World/Road Rules even though there hasn’t been a new season in like 5 years Challenges. Here are my top 5 fave things about reality shows, and the people who are on them:
1. Reality television is like the best psych experiment ever
Back in college, my pursuit of a BA in psychology led to many observation scenarios. You try to stay as removed from the subjects as possible, often behind a two-way mirror, lest you contaminate the environment you’re attempting to observe. Now, though, I can observe a huge variety of human behavior from the comfort of home! Maybe I’m wondering what it’s like to be a real estate agent in New York, or a Gypsy in the UK, or a cheerleader in Texas. Or, maybe I’m curious about how people react to losing large amounts of weight, having their car repossessed, or having pranks pulled on them.
One click of the remote and I have hundreds of two-way mirrors that I can peek through. Reality TV is also appealing to anyone that is nosy about basically anything. You can see inside people’s bedrooms, watch them break down mentally and then pull it together again, or get a voyeuristic thrill from seeing the Real World roomies strip down beneath the sheets. It’s like having a universal key that opens any diary you see! Continue reading “In Defense of Reality Television”