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Is Reality TV Reality?
Somewhere I saw, “Every time you watch Jersey Shore, a book commits suicide.” And it’s probably true.
Reality TV shows flood channels, and I find the trend impertinent and annoying. What is funny or even remotely entertaining about two women having a cat fight? The drama and suspense of rich people’s lives might have some lure, but seeing into the everyday lives of meaningless and random people does not bring satisfaction.
The top reality shows right now are Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives series. For those that have been on a remote island, Jersey Shore follows the insane lives of eight housemates living in New Jersey, and The Real Housewives documents the relationships between the wives and children of rich and famous men.
“I watch Jersey Shore because it’s easy to follow along with,” says junior Rachel Shanabarger. “It is a way to watch people fight without actually being involved in it.”
If following The Situation and Snooki fight wasn’t enough drama, now viewers can enjoy watching women related to imprisoned mafia criminals duke it out on screen on Mob Wives.
Another favorite among Arrowhead students, Keeping Up with the Kardashians “keeps up” with the most infamous family in the world.
“Don’t even joke about the Kardashians,” says junior and ultra-fan Brenda Suhan. “That show is my life.”
Unfortunately, there are many more reality shows, but those are the most popular.
These shows are pointless. They provide mindless entertainment and they are not worthy of millions of views per week. Again—what is the lure? It’s just a bunch of over-tanned idiots running around screaming at each other.
Reality TV brings the absurd. Ordinary people are cast to act stupidly on live TV. This thrusts normal morons into the spotlight and gives them a chance at fame. That’s irritating. The plots are so absurd I forget I’m actually watching with real people.
Lucas Kavner of the Huffington Post says, “Shows like The Jersey Shore and The Bachelor are now so ubiquitous –and pull in such high ratings—that it's difficult to know whether Americans should continue devouring these shows in private, with a tinge of embarrassment, or if we, as a nation, should collectively acknowledge that watching deeply troubled human beings make fools of themselves on national television has simply become a part of our daily lives.”
Finally, reality TV gives a false image. The life of a mob wife is not as glamorous or as full of cat fights as the show portrays. Snooki’s tan is not real. And—please—the housewives cannot sing. Their lives are fabulous only because they are followed around by cameras.
“I mean, how real is reality TV? I have no idea!” says Shanabarger.
In the end, it is personal preference. If people screaming at each other helps you relax, have at it. However, the mindless plots of reality TV are put on a pedestal, and their images are accepted. There are so many programs following the same plotlines, making Americans look like pinheads.