Reflection of Ourselves: Are we the Worst for Watching Reality Television?


Welcome back! This blog was supposed to be last week, but the new month sparked some creativity in me and well…things happen people. That is all I will say. However, here we are. I write this blog as I watch a marathon of Cake Boss. Another reality show.  Reality shows seem to be required television viewing. Even if you try to run away or ignore it…you will be caught. Reality shows are gonna get you.

Where am I going with this? Glad you asked. Reality shows are the norm on the television landscape. We all watch regardless if we want to or not. What does that mean about us?

Are reality shows the worst or are we the worst for watching them?

I think as I watch the Real Housewives try to throw wine in each other’s faces about this question.  Well…that and why am I watching random rich people throwing wine in each other’s face? What about this is appealing to the public. Same with shows like Cake Boss. What is it about people making cakes that makes me watch for hours on end? I cannot speak for everyone, but I have done some soul searching on this topic. This is what I have come up with that maybe you agree with or maybe you do not.

I think we watch these shows because it gives us a new view. Something new to look at. Sure, we could watch the news or documentaries for a new viewpoint on the world but a reality show is quicker and more entertaining. It is our weird little obsession with voyeurism. We love seeing the world through different lenses. Too bad those lenses can be completely and morally bankrupt.

I like to watch reality shows because it is completely mindless. Sometimes I need a break from my constantly racing mind. I guess I also watch reality shows because I compare myself to the crazy people who popular this genre. When I watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (I know. That is so bad. That family was so normal…then…ew.) I used to think that I have to be ok since I was not like them.

Which makes me think we are the worst for watching them. We watch these shows to compare our lives to theirs.  In turn, these people get more ratings and get more famous. Which leads to more episodes to watch and for our brains to rot.  Shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and WAGS are generally hated, but we still watch. We watch to compare our lives. We judge. We feel better. They get ratings. Popularity. Money. It is a weird crazy circle.

That is one thought I had. Then I thought about one show I watch.

There are reality shows out there that are not mindless. There are shows that come into the reality show genre that are not vapid. Some are positive and some are sad. Some bring viewers into a world that will never experience. We, as viewers, actually learn and apply what we learn to our lives. These shows brighten or world lens.

One example of this? The Little Couple on TLC. This show does not exploit the fact they are little people. They teach the audience what it is like to live in a world designed for normal statured people. Not just that but they do it with many laughs as well. These types of reality shows are few, but they do exist. Liking reality shows with a positive spin cannot make us horrible, right?

The reality shows landscape is full of women and men doing stupid things to become famous. However, for every vapid reality star (Kardashians) there are people who are trying to make a positive difference in the world (The Little Couple).

Are we terrible for watching reality shows then? I think the jury is out on that.

What do you think? Leave a comment below! Stick around. I’m going to highlight the most positive aspects of reality television in the next blog post. It is time you guys got to know Dr. Jen Arnold and Bill Klein and their newly published book.

Until then the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed!

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