Why are reality TV shows so popular?

Topic #197: Why are reality TV shows so popular? It seems everyone hates them in general, but has one show…

Topic #197:

Why are reality TV shows so popular? It seems everyone hates them in general, but has one show they just can’t stop watching. Which one is yours? If you don’t watch any, which of the ones you’ve heard about do you think you’d be most likely to watch? What’s your theory about why this form dominates so much of modern TV?

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  1. I heard a saying some time ago… It went along the lines of The problem with television these days is that there is too much reality and not enough imagination

  2. The one major reason is instant-superstar status. It really doesn’t take much anymore for anyone to appear in the limelight.

    I used to love to watch Real World and Road Rules. Once I heard other channels were copying them, I made it a point not to watch the other shows like Big Brother and et al. I’ve grown bored of Real World but I do admit that I like to watch MTV’s challenges like the “Rivals”.

  3. Geez – I love so many reality tv shows :D I just didn’t have enough time to cooked up a blog post but I sure want to share my favorites, which include MasterChef Australia, Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, Kardashians, etc. ♥

  4. The reality shows are so popular because we as a people like watching people belittle themselves and therefore we can feel better about ourselves.

  5. I don’t know. Here in Philippines, reality TV shows are very popular like PBB, etc, and other contests. I think it’s because “people see it as an easy way to fame.”–At least in Philippines, that applies.

  6. Before the audition, do several trial runs in front of friends, families, and a few people who intensely dislike you.

    That’s right. You need people who are going to be honest with you. Do not be one of those “No Talents” who bursts into tears on TV when one of the judges asks the inevitable question, “What the Hell was that?”

  7. Simple – as our society has become more and more narcissistic in its drive for grandeur and fame, people see reality TV as the quick shortcut to fame. Why are we obsessed with it? Because truth is stranger than fiction and we have an obsessive need to compare our lives to other people. Facebook is just another extension of that narcissism. Everyone has their own page and serves as their own paparazzi and publicist, sharing their world and pictures with the life. And we log-on and obsessively compare and compete, out narcissistic-ing each other. Sad state of affairs. But my fave reality TV shows are Master Chef and The Bachelorette. I love watching passionate chefs and the naivete of a twenty-something believing she’s going to check-off long-lasting love on a reality TV show.

  8. Unfortunately, I never really follow them :)
    I had always found it more fun to size people up and gauge what they might be thinking or feeling.
    I don’t need people to spoonfeed me on what they want me to think they are thinking.

  9. I believe reality shows is so popular is, because people want a break from their own life and they do so by living them out in the television. I bet an individual’s favorite show is the show that they’d love to be a part of. Whether directly or indirectly. They feel like that’s where they belong, that’s where they can connect to, and that’s where, if they come down to it, desire (strongly) to be. They may also, perhaps, place themselves in a specific character’s shoes and fantasize (whether in a good way or bad) what it would be like to be them to make themselves feel better. People sometimes need a break from their own lives, thus, they put themselves in other lives’ scenarios as, sort of, a refuge.
    As for which is my favorite; couldn’t really tell you, because I have none. I AM following up on a couple of TV shows, but I don’t have one sole favorite. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of fiction/fantasy shows are being made and are becoming rapidly popular. I’m guessing this form of TV shows dominates today’s television, because directors (and TV shows creator/maker people) know what people want. People want something new, fresh, exciting, exotic to grab their attention and keep them interested. And that’s exactly what these shows are aiming at.

  10. are they really real….????? im not so sure about that. loved them when they first started airing.. but agree with procrastin8or above. now its too much reality and not enough imaginations.

  11. in my view……they were good and popular earlier. now they show UNREALITY which is only liked but they can’t be said good….only popular.
    they can do everthing to become famous.they weep,show their anger,emotions…..that’s it these reality shows…..

  12. I agree with those who have said TV reality shows are escapism for viewers, much like books, radio, and even TV were to prior generations. Our fascination with stars of reality TV is probably seeing if they have any likenesses to us, our lives, our stuff, our values. Sitcoms were the big deal in the 70s and 80s, and continue to this day. YouTube is streaming reality…a little too much for my taste, however.

    click…for more of what i think… ;)

  13. Truth is we all wanna know what’s going on in other people’s lives. Some are more nosey than others. Personally I find reality TV to be entertaining. Usually though, people tend to act a little different when they KNOW that their being taped. So I wouldn’t say a lot of the shows are REALITY shows. There tends to be a bit of acting; leading to more entertainment.

  14. I think people have natural curiosity about other people’s lives. Reality TV shows attracting a lot of audience means more money for the entertainment industry, which means they would make more reality TV shows. But if you look closely, there’s no actual investment in creativity, passion or talent of any kind. It’s just all about money at the end of the day.

  15. Never underestimate the stupidity of the general populace.

    Most people are idiots, reality TV is composed of idiots, for idiots by idiots.