Are reality TV shows worth watching?
Reality TV shows are shown to reveal the day-to-day lives of the characters, building the story over time. This genre of entertainment has been around for a long time. In many of these shows, “ordinary” people are placed in exotic, unfamiliar surroundings
Television programs showing ordinary people in unexpected situations are almost as old as the television itself. And reality shows have not only amassed incredible popularity but have also become an object of severe, wide-ranging criticism. But what are Reality TV shows?
Reality television has been defined as “a genre of television programming that documents supposedly unscripted real-life situations, and often features an unknown cast of individuals who are typically not professional actors, although in some shows celebrities may participate.”
These TV shows seem to have taken over the entertainment industry globally - from “Keeping up with the Kardashians” to “The real housewives of Atlanta”. And locally we have “Big brother Naija”, “Omotola, The Real Me” and many more.
With the unending lists of such shows and many more flooding our TV screens, it may seem that our time has been taken over as many people become engrossed in watching them. This attitude leaves a begging question: “Are reality TV shows worth the time spent watching them?”
A young and upcoming writer, TJ Benson, said that to him reality shows are a waste of time.
“You are basically watching someone else’s reality, which wouldn’t be a waste if you were an alien.”
He added that he doesn’t watch reality shows because “you are human like these people whose everyday lives you are watching, so you basically stop your everyday life to live theirs.”
Alasooke Omo Olakunle, a young graduate, said “I don’t think that reality TV is actually worth the time spent on it. Somehow, I have a feeling that though they call it “reality” it is not really different from the next TV series. Except of course that most TV series are more entertaining and mind exercising than the average reality show.”
Alasooke while illustrating her stance said “Take ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ for example. We really have no business knowing so much about those people. Their lives aren’t that inspiring and definitely not entertaining. I hate to sound like a hater but the truth is that none of the Kardashians actually have any specific talents. Beauty is not so rare that theirs would be made so much of a big deal. And their lives have a touch of depression that anyone with a keen mind can discern.”
She however said she used to watch Reality TV shows. “At first I loved to watch them but with time, I grew to dislike all that fakeness. And these days I go months without even bothering to check.”
Dr. Kema Anthony Onu told LIFEXTRA that he doesn’t watch reality TV Shows. “It’s about interest. I guess I don’t find such shows interesting.”
Adam Rauscher, who identified himself as a TV professional, wrote in a forum why the
industry keeps churning out reality TV shows. “In general, there are a lot of reality shows because they are cheap for the networks. People featured on the show are paid less than actors. There are no writers and the extra editors make less than writers do. Nothing requires multiple takes. The camera and sound people make less from reality work than they do for almost anything else.”
Carl Hartman, who also identified himself as a reality TV producer in the same forum, gave two reasons why people watch it. He said first of all people identify with the characters and secondly people feel like they could be that character.
David Stewart in an online forum said “People want to see a reality TV show as soon as possible and enjoy being part of the communal experience. They want to talk about it on twitter and Facebook and discuss it at work or school the next day. They want to watch it live and feel like they’re part of something.”