People learn from reality TV

CN/Cathy Hofer

By Jessica Martinez


For me, I am a fan of reality television for two reasons. One is for the excitement of having the life the characters are portraying.

I imagine myself playing the main character’s role on the show and how my life would be so different if it went in that direction.

Another reason why I watch it is to laugh at the characters and the situations they get themselves into.

Though some reality shows make me want to have a life like that, there are other shows that make me rethink having that life.

According to Forbes, reality television is affecting the way women are being portrayed on television.

Shows like “The Real Housewives” series and “Basketball Wives” portray the women as being two sided: friendly one minute and vicious the next.

The majority of viewers are women and one of the reasons they watch reality television is they can relate to the characters.

On these shows, people are facing obstacles, falling in and out of love and just fighting with every person they meet.

Viewers watch each week to see how the characters handle each situation.  Even though the characters are celebrities, they experience the same situations like  viewers do.

Viewers, in turn, see how the characters react and apply it to their situation.

For example, “The Bachelorette” took viewers around the world while 25 men competed for a woman’s hand in marriage.

For men, it gave them ideas on how to treat a woman and what she needs to be happy.

For women, it gave them the vision to have that type of romance in their lives.

Another reason that people enjoy watching reality television is to escape to someone else’s life for an hour.

For those viewers that do not care about sharing similar situations, they watch for the enjoyment.

The viewer finds a character and becomes attached to that person, wondering what will happen to the character.

All reality shows have some characters that viewers will ‘love to hate.’

Dancing with the Stars always have at least one controversial contestant. This season, Bristol Palin was back on the dance floor and with it came the criticisms.

The online boards and social media were full of comments, criticizing her dancing, her mother, and her political associations.

Every week she was on the bottom of the leaderboard, but always ended up being able to advance to the next week.

Palin eventually was eliminated but it made for an exciting season. Finally, there are those viewers that completely avoid watching reality shows.

To them, reality shows are a bad portrayal of certain people or locations. For example, when Jersey Shore first premiered there were a lot of complaints about the show.

The city of Seaside Heights was portrayed as a party city and even the Italian culture of Guidos was portrayed in a bad light.

Eventually the criticism stopped and six seasons later, the cast is well loved and everyone wants to take a vacation to Seaside Heights.

For example, how much influence did the producers have on Teresa’s infamous table flipping scene on ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’?

Also, do votes really count for choosing the next American Idol or the winner of ‘The Voice’?

At the end, viewers cannot get enough of reality television.

No matter how outrageous a show can get, viewers will find some enjoyment out of it.

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