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Why do we love reality TV?

Why do we love reality TV?

Published April 29, 2020
Author: Staff report

Photo by Alireza Esmaeeli on Unsplash

Netflix is making a major push into reality TV programming. Some are wondering why it’s taken them so long. What is it about reality TV that makes the genre so popular and profitable (besides the low production costs)? Just what is it that makes us need to keep up with the Kardashians or put our patience to the test with Too Hot to Handle?

Reality shows provide entertainment. The purpose of such shows was to entertain and not educate people. But as time passed, many subgenres formed that could be informational too. Subgenres of reality television include docusoap, soap-opera, lifestyle, crime, informational, romance, reality sitcoms and many others.

Previously, documentaries, traditional game shows, sports television, television news and talk shows were common genres. Everything used to be staged and planned. Reality television tried to capture the real lives of people by planting the cameras at secret places and then capturing the entire situations. The actors would act as they like and would not be confined in well-defined boundaries.

Another major reason for the popularity of reality television is that such shows are relatable. These were introduced for common men. The actors in these shows are mostly common people. They are not always professional and that is one of the reasons why everyone likes to watch such relatable shows. Also, the actors are shown living their raw life, in its original form. They are captured committing blunders like most of us do routinely. The audience was tired of watching made-up shows and therefore, television series became a prized genre.

Photo by K I L I A N 📷 on Unsplash

Exploring human behavior
A very common idea involved in reality television is to leave a group of people together at people and then capture their life together. The show would manifest how each one of those people reacts in different situations. How human beings form connections and interact with one another. Exploration of human behavior in its original state (as the participants do not know they are under surveillance) is another catch of the reality shows.

Variety of themes
The variety of themes surveyed in these shows are one of the reasons why this genre is so popular in television culture. For example shows like Little People, Big World, Push Girls and The Undateables are based on people with some kind of disabilities or people who do not fit in with everyone else. Similarly, there are shows based on ethnic minorities like Sister Wives, Washington Heights and Breaking Amish. Some reality shows are also about financial transactions. By providing a whole array of choices, reality television became a favorite of the audience. Different geographical spaces and cultures are also looked into in reality series.

Some reality shows offer expert ideas to the audience regarding different matters. A group of experts go around places to different people- people who are not famous and then improve their outlook or help them out in different ways while providing aid too. Self-improvement shows motivate the audience to improve themselves. They get free advice from experts while sitting at home. Such shows include Queer Eye, What Not to Wear, Extreme Makeover, Fat March and multiple others. House renovation shows and business improvement reality shows are also very popular because these help people with their problems.

Staff report