Emily Little

Reality TV shows are here to stay

TV is a fixture in most households. Whether it is watching the news each evening or the newest hit crime drama each week, it is undeniable that TV shows are an aspect of our daily lives.

Everyone who watches television tends to have a favorite show, or at least a favorite genre. My personal favorite is reality TV. Now, I will admit, most of these shows are quite outrageous. Many people argue that they are a bad influence on society, and I will agree that many of them are not necessarily positive. However, reality shows range on a spectrum from enjoyable to cringe-worthy.

My love of reality television began with the very first season of the singing competition show “American Idol.” I thought it was hilarious to watch the audition portion which contained many people singing terribly. After many singers were weeded out, there was a small group of talented vocalists left. They went on to perform each week, asking for the viewers’ votes. I loved feeling like I played a part in the decision each week. To this day, I continue to watch “American Idol.” This year has been one of my favorite seasons in such a long time that my mom and I decided to get tickets to the American Idol Live Tour. That means that this summer, my mom and I will go to Sarasota and watch the Top 10 Finalists perform and I could not be more excited.

Talent competitions are just one of the many forms of reality television. Another form is reality game show competitions, in which the prize is normally a large monetary sum. My absolute, all-time favorite television show happens to fall under this category. “Big Brother” is a TV show that puts people of varying ages and personalities, houseguests, in a house together for an entire summer. I have watched the series with my dad for as long as I can remember and over time it has become my favorite.

The show contains all of the typical reality television elements – drama, drama, and more drama. This summer will be the 16th season of “Big Brother,” so clearly the show is doing something right.

Another category of reality TV is the show that simply focuses on the lives of interesting people. From shows about pawnshops, to people with nearly 20 children, there is a show for nearly everything. I constantly find myself wondering whether or not these shows are scripted. From the seemingly staged catfights of “Dance Moms” to the cameras in an electronic-free culture in “Amish Mafia,” it seems impossible that these shows are entirely real. Regardless, the shows continue to gain popularity. Whether what the shows contain is fact or fiction is entirely irrelevant to most of the viewers. Audiences simply want to see drama and something out-of-the ordinary, even if it is not the truth.

There are also shows with a more negative focus that tend to give all reality shows a bad rap. It is no secret that shows like “Jersey Shore” took American televisions by storm. While it seemed the entire country couldn’t stop watching, we also couldn’t stop criticizing the party scenes that unfolded on the screen before us. Of course, it is entirely likely that this was another scripted show with all of the actions carefully planned. Regardless, many people believe shows like this are tainting society.

Whether you have a positive or negative outlook on reality television, there is no denying that it is a staple in our society. You can’t go anywhere without seeing a splash of reality TV on a billboard or magazine. Love them or hate them, reality TV shows are undeniably here to stay.