Reality shows – bad, lazy television?

We all have our “guilty pleasures” and for some people, reality TV is one of them. The phrase “reality television” conjures a variety of images, some of them positive, some highly unpleasant and it can be embarrassing to admit that you watch reality TV on a daily basis. Some people believe that this kind of entertainment is worthless and bad for us as it convey bad values and how people should view society. 


Over the past few or so years, less scripted television has been shown on screen and fare more reality TV is on. Reality shows are cheap and easy to produce and it is an easy way to entertain people. I would agree to a certain point with those people that say reality television is bad for us. I do believe that there are some good reality shows out there as American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. What I just can’t stand are programs like Paradise Hotel, Big Brother and all the different dating shows out there. They are shows with no other purpose than to entertain people, and in many cases to the neglect of important values.The spectacles of humiliation, melodrama and interpersonal conflict we can find in these shows have an influence on our culture and values; they also present bad role models to the viewers. Also, in many cases, this form of reality TV is dishonest. It pretends to show the “reality” but it actually distorts the truth to suite the program makers. Reality shows alter the viewer’s perception of reality and pollute the viewer’s mind with distorted pictures.

Yes, I will claim that most reality shows are lazy television and require no thought and intellect to understand. We turn to reality TV because of the entertainment; however, it becomes a problem when people think that this is how we should act in real life. But even though I hate these shows, I have to admit that it is one of my own “guilty pleasures”. I find it entertaining to watch people that try to keep themselves in the spotlight at any cost. These are people that don’t really care how they are portrayed on camera, thinking that any publicity is good publicity. Jersey Shore is a great example of this. The show consists of alcohol, partying and having sex on TV and presents terrible role models to the audience. But I have to admit it, watching these people make fools of themselves is quite funny. It is bad, lazy and simple entertainment, but sometimes that’s all I need. 


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6 responses to “Reality shows – bad, lazy television?

  1. I agree that we as American’s waist our time watching too much “pointless” television. We watch these shows and either praise ourselves for not having the awful life that is shown on T.V. or look down on ourselves for not having the life the people on TV. have. I agree many people on reality TV will do just about anything to be in the spot light. I went to Hoover High- home of “Two-a-Days.” A primary example of reality TV: do you really think the people who spoke on that show did so without a script? No, they were told what to say and when. Reality TV can also be known to ruin people’s lives at times. “Two-a-Days” didn’t do too well for some of those who were in the spot light. I feel we should regulate what we watch-like that article we read in our TSIS book. Are we increasing our intelligence or squandering it?

  2. christiwilson19

    I totally agree that reality shows are “lazy television.” There are so many out there and half of them probably should not have even been made. I do confess that I enjoy watching The Bachelor and Bayou Billionaires, but simply because they amuse me. Bayou Billionaires is just something for me to laugh at basically because of how funny the people act on the show. I’ve never personally watched a reality show and wanted to act like any of the people I saw. I do agree that these shows can have a negative affect on some viewers as well as cause people to become addicted to these types of shows. Reality TV really does not do anything for people who watch it. We simply watch it because we want to relax and not have to think about anything. Another reason I think people (including me) watch reality TV is because of the drama. A lot of times, people enjoy drama; as long as it doesn’t affect us.

    Also, the point you made Camilla about distorted reality is so true. It is hard to know what people are told to say and what they actually want to say. Directors make the show popular by writing scripts for people. If we don’t hear what we want to hear then we most likely will not watch the show in the future. Because of this the whole concept of reality TV is questioned. More and more are shows categorized as reality shows becoming closer to fully scripted shows.

  3. I agree with this article completely. Reality TV, though maybe a few can be mind numbingly good, are in most cases just rotting away our brain. As in the post mentioned above, many people enjoy watching drama, as long as it doesn’t affect them. Because of this love of drama and gossip, reality TV shows have seem to taken a turn for the worse due to popular demand. Shows similar to Jersey Shore are slowing becoming more present which is most likely not good for anyone to veg out to (no offense to anyone who likes JS). Some can be quite enjoyable like America’s Got Talent or American Idol because the drama isn’t related to drugs, sex, alcohol, etc– it’s related to people’s talents or special skills, at least in my opinion. If these star shows do not die and perhaps these Jersey Shore-type shows change some of their content, reality TV would be not as criticized as it is today. Though because of popular demand, these more risque shows will probably continue to rise.

  4. Dan Alykeev

    I believe it is all up to us, people who watch these TV shows. Yes, they might be showing us wrong attitude, bad examples, etc but it doesn’t mean we actually become like that also. If you are smart enough of a person, what you actually will do is get the better of it, enjoy it while watching, make fun of what people do, have something to discuss with your friends, and most importantly, know that you – yourself will not do the things you thought were stupid in the show that they did. Simple as that. I saw many episodes of Jersey Shore myself, and I have to admit, it is hilarious. At the same time it is extremely dumb. What do I get out of it? An hour of simple joy and good laugh. What do you get out of it is up to you and only you now.

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