The Reality of Reality TV

The Reality of Reality TV


After a long day at school, most students will come home, kick back, and watch TV. A vast majority will watch a reality TV show.

These shows have taken over primetime TV due to their seemingly uncut footage and shock value.

Reality TV started with the airing of “Candid Camera” in 1948. It continued from there with “An American Family” in 1973, pushing the documentary genre beyond its traditional barriers. In 2000, though, is when the genre took off. Shows such as “Survivor” and “Big Brother” aired, and took ideas from the game show concept, but to a whole new level.

Soon other shows started popping up, and television networks adored the concept. And, apparently, so did the rest of America.

Reality TV, however, is cheap TV and is partly why it has become more popular. But being popular has its consequences.

With teens, on average, watching 28 hours a week of TV, they are getting exposed to drugs, sex, and vulgar language due to the genre’s popularity.

Shows such as “Jersey Shore” suggest that trying drugs once won’t hurt you, and that random hookups are okay. They idolize being in the limelight and wealth.

These programs show teens that you will be rewarded for bad behavior. You’re 16 and pregnant? Congratulations, you get a show.

“I’ve never seen a reality show that was worth watching,” says Spanish Teacher John Carroll.

On the other hand, Reality TV does have some benefits.

First, it exposes teens to different cultures. Take Duck Dynasty for example: the show reveals good family values, going against the typical hick stereotype.

Another reason is that it shows the tragedies other people face and allows viewers to really appreciate their own lives. Be glad that you’re not on the “Hoarding: Buried Alive” show.

For the most part, though, it’s just plain entertaining. Watching competition shows like “Survivor” or lifestyle shows such as “Teen Mom” lets us escape for an hour a day into the TV world.

“I enjoy some of the reality TV shows, but some are hard to believe that these people actually live those kind of lives,” said Senior Brooke Watson.

Additionally, there are many reality TV shows which aren’t crazy and offensive. You can’t forget about “House Hunters”, for example, or “Dog Whisperer”.

So what are the favorite shows of students?

In a survey of students around the campus, it seemed that “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” is the most popular. You know, the one that shows all those wonderful things like drugs and sex. It’s no surprise that the show is so popular, with it heavily advertised and Kim Kardashian even having her own selfie app.

“I support Kimye,” said Senior Rayney Dodge.

Whether Reality TV is affecting students here negatively or not is unknown, it’s still a part of our TV watching lifestyle.