Why are we so obsessed with reality TV?
It seems very interesting to watch people go about their daily lives when they are being filmed. For some reason, the viewing public really enjoys celebrities and reality stars being followed by a camera. There are so many shows out there now it’s hard to keep track; ‘TOWIE’, ‘Big Brother’, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’, ‘Made In Chelsea’, ‘Geordie Shore’, ‘Real Housewives’ (of several locations), ‘Ex on the Beach’, ‘Love Island’, ‘Are You The One’ etcetera…
I have to admit I have also fallen victim to the beast that is reality TV. I faithfully watched ‘TOWIE’, admittedly from season 1 to 9 in a bingeing session, and then following from there. Is it scripted? The story lines seem very co-incidental; it’s taken for granted that if one person hears a rumour, the whole of Essex hears the same rumour. Odd. When actually watching the show, there are times where the characters acknowledge the cameras, looking directly into them, and other parts where they have finished a scene, and their held facial expressions look incredibly fake. ‘TOWIE’, like many other shows that follow people from one area (MIC, RHOB, RHOA) seems focused on relationships and the drama that ensues between friends. It is interesting to witness drama that you aren’t directly involved in, that seems to be the phenomenon going on here.
‘Geordie Shore’ takes things further with a dramatic cast, and explosive plot lines. While watching, you laugh when they laugh, cry when they cry, and somehow gain catharsis through them – I would argue that is the point of the show… No-one actually wants to go out every night, getting absolutely hammered and making regrettable decisions and suffering the consequences the following day, but we are more than happy to watch someone do it for us! I have to say, the show hasn’t really been the same without Charlotte Crosby.
Let’s take the surplus amount of reality dating shows into consideration. MTV continues to churn out dating shows. ‘Ex on the Beach’ consists of well-known celebrities dating and their ex-partners “unexpectedly” showing up. ‘Love Island’ has a weird concept where the inhabitants are expected to become romantically entangled, morals and values are temporarily suspended, “all is fair in love and war”. ‘Are You The One’ is apparently based on scientific matching to create perfect couples and win a grand prize of $1,000,000 whilst doing it. The main aim of these shows is to create relationships between the characters, and the audience gets to enjoy the sweet moments, and the dramatic moments also.
This next one stands alone. ‘Big Brother’ is all about watching people’s true natures revealed under pressure. The tasks, the claustrophobia and the drama are palpable, making it an explosive and interesting programme to watch, especially the recent season. Kim Woodburn. That’s all I’m going to say. If you don’t know who she is, Google her.
Last (and definitely least), comes the Kardashians, who have built their empire on reality TV. They aren’t the first, and won’t be the last, but are somehow a household name. Is it solely down to Kim and her antics with Ray J, or is it their dad Robert Kardashian, who handled the OJ Simpson trial? Whatever made them initially famous, the TV show that follows their daily lives and features their drama has been a staple for viewers for almost 10 years. The show low-key centres on Kim though…”Bible!” I can only conclude that we care far too much about what celebrities are up to. The Kardashians are frequently featured in the Daily Mail, so it’s even easier to keep up with them. Whatever happened to good old fashioned soaps?