"Reality" Television – Entertainment Or Addiction?


For roughly the past decade, or so, there has been a phenomenon that has completely taken over the world by storm…”Reality Television.” The television itself, has been a constant staple in people’s lives since it’s birth in 1925, by John Logie Baird, in Scotland. These shows have taken real life and put them on what was already the most marketable medium there is, the television. The concept in general, is absolutely genius! To take people’s lives and broadcast their day to day situations, (as crazy and dramatic the better) across the world for people to see. These “Reality” television shows not only have taken a hold of people’s lives, but they have literally dominated the television ratings since they first hit the air waves. Saying that these shows have taken a hold of people’s lives is a huge understatement. There are millions of people who are completely obsessed and addicted to the world of “Reality” t.v. and watch these shows religiously week after week. Some people have gone to such an extreme, where they have weekly parties at their homes and invite their friends over to watch their favorite “Reality” shows.

Currently the top five rated or watched “Reality” television shows are…

1.) “Survivor”

This number one rated “Reality” show has been on the air for seventeen seasons. The concept of this show is that they literally drop contestants off in remote places all over the world (such as jungles) and let them manipulate, deceive, and fight to stay on the show. Each week they eliminate a contestant by having them vote off one of their own. Ultimately, the last contestant left wins a million dollars. It’s obviously been addictive for millions of viewers to become the number one rated “Reality” show of all time.

2.) “The Real World”

The number two rated “Reality” show is “The Real World.” Some say this was the first “Reality” show on television. It has been on the air for twenty one seasons. Considering the show aired for the first time and still is on MTV, “The Real World” and has already become syndicated on other networks, truly shows the popularity of the show due to the fact the MTV is a cable channel. This is a show where they find complete strangers, and put them all in one house to live, and watch the drama unfold. (And believe me, if you have ever seen the show, it is filled with more than drama!)

3.) “American Idol”

Now this show’s concept isn’t new to the average American television viewer. It is the next generation of one of the more popular television shows of all time, “Star Search.” This “Reality” show / contest’s ultimate goal is to find the “next big superstar” in the music industry. It has an almost cult-like following, that tunes in every week to see and hear not only, the contestants’ performances, but the judges reactions and comments as well. This is yet another show where America decides the who wins, by voting every week until the next winner is crowned the next “American Idol.”

4.) “The Amazing Race”

“The Amazing Race,” has aired for thirteen season. This show is very unique in it’s own right. They take eleven or twelve teams of two, and travel around the world competing in crazy challenges along the way. The teams’ goal is to not only compete in these crazy challenges, but ultimately be the first team to the finish line, wherever in the world it may be, hence the name…”Amazing Race.”

5.) “The Bachelor”

“The Bachelor,” is yet another “Reality” show that has been on the air for thirteen seasons. Women and romantics are drawn to this show for the fact that it is a “Reality” show about finding true love. (If that’s possible on a television “Reality” show.) Every season, the show finds a bachelor who is sometimes already famous in his own right, and finds twenty five single woman who are looking and hoping to find true love in this bachelor. Like most of these “Reality” shows, these women are eliminated every week, until there is only one left. The show’s ultimate goal is that this bachelor falls in love with the last woman standing, proposes marriage, and will live happily ever after.

When people choose to put their real life on television, and allow cameras to catch their every move and conversation, they don’t realize the consequences that could come with it. Most are so excited for the instant fame, they don’t bother to think about the fact that the entire world will be watching every move that they make. “Reality” television shows, such as “American Idol,” can literally create musical megastars. However, on the other hand, some “Reality” shows can destroy people’s lives and the relationships in which they have, more times than not. Most people choose to be a part of a “Reality” show simply for the popularity and becoming overnight celebrities. No matter what show these people are on, they ultimately do it for one simple reason…money! Regardless of the downfalls and consequences that might come with that instant fame and fortune, they do it for the money. Now, I personally, don’t think that there is enough money in the world to let a camera crew follow me around twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I wouldn’t be on a “Reality” show for $50 million dollars…who am I kidding? I’d do it for a million dollars!

Source by Patrick E. Ward

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