In Defense of Reality TV

Members from the Netflix original reality show “Queer Eye” posing happily together. “Queer Eye” quickly became one of Netflix’s most popular reality show after its release in 2018.

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Aize Hassan, Photography Editor

    Reality TV seems to fill the empty voids of television, making up for some of the most hated pieces of media that airs on television even though it really shouldn’t be.

   I will admit, I thoroughly enjoy watching reality TV shows. I survived quarantine through watching “Love Island” and “Dance Moms.” But what even counts as Reality TV? Reality TV is technically just TV without a script (yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone knows that some reality shows are scripted, hence the “technically”), so stuff like documentary styles shows, legal shows, competitions, lifestyle shows, travel shows, transformations and social experiments are all Reality TV. Classic examples of some would be “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Shark Tank” and “Flip or Flop.” Yep, all those things count as Reality TV, so don’t go generalizing every show.

   It really does not deserve all the hate it gets. Yes, some shows can be ridiculous. Yes, it has no plot. Yes, it is stupid. It is all that and much more, but that is exactly why it is so beautiful. 

   Reality TV barely requires real thinking about what is going on: no thinking, just watching. It is the perfect thing to watch while multitasking since there is no plot that needs to be followed. Sure, there are shows that require you to watch the previous episode to see eliminations— like in “The Bachelor”— but, one simple internet search reveals basically everything that happened in the previous episode. Normal TV shows are much more complex, missing an episode can be detrimental.

   As mentioned above, some reality shows are scripted. For some reason, this is a big no-no for some audiences because they feel like the show is not “authentic” if scripted, since it basically defeats the whole purpose of a reality show. Think of it this way, if there was a show about someone’s normal life, would it be exciting and interesting? No! That is why some shows need to be a little scripted. For example, if there was a show about my life, would anyone want to watch me sit at a kitchen table writing this article? Absolutely not. To change this, producers would spice things up by telling my sister to punch me or something. Remember, Reality TV is pure entertainment and usually, it is nothing like normal life.

   Not every reality TV show deserves a chance, though. Shows that exploit little kids for entertainment, such as “Toddlers and Tiaras,” and other shows that capitalize off of other people’s addictions, mental illnesses, or disorders are free to hate on. These reality shows can genuinely be harmful to the viewer and those who partake in the show.

    So, come on, put away any preconceived notions and turn on some acceptable Reality TV. Just give it a chance. “The Bachelorette” is currently airing every Tuesday night and can be streamed on services like Hulu.