Top-Rated Free Essay

Reality Tv

Topics: Reality television, Television, Television program / Pages: 4 (777 words) / Published: May 14th, 2008
Why is reality TV such a popular genre that is watched by many? It is quite simple because it shows regular people in the cast and the public and the viewers can relate to them. “The fact that…the ‘characters’ on the show are selected from ‘ordinary’ life is a key part of this appeal” (Maasik and Solomon 228). The “characters” are not celebrities but just average people around the nation cast by the producers. The personal, emotional, and physical characteristics of these people's lives are televised for millions of people to watch, as they compete to win a large sum of money. But the one disappointment in these shows is that there is only one winner and the rest leave with nothing. What is it that people find so entertaining about these shows that keep them glued to their television week after week? Reality TV has become such a popular genre because the shows play on people’s emotions and imaginations which keep them coming back for more. An example of this is the show The Amazing Race.
The Amazing Race is a reality TV show about teams consisting of 2 members which are often lovers, family members, or best friends that race around the world in order to win the cash prize at the end of the race. Teams must race to certain checkpoints per episode and the last team to arrive at said checkpoints is eliminated.
The show “Survivor added another dimension to the mix by inviting viewers to identify with some contestants and to despise others” (Maasik and Solomon 229). The Amazing Race also used the concept from Survivor and was also designed to have the viewer associate themselves to a team and basically “cheer on” that certain team. Viewers’ emotions play a big part of the way the show was setup, but by associating themselves to a team, the viewers imagine themselves a part of the show itself and it keeps them watching to see the result of their team’s fate in the show. Each viewer would associate themselves with a different team and slowly project themselves into the show. As the race continues on, viewers tend to develop feelings for their teams and also feelings toward opposing teams. The reality TV genre generally uses this design and concept to “hook” the viewers into the shows, but emotions are not the only way these shows were designed to keep the viewers watching.
The Amazing Race is not just a simple race to the end of the prize. The producers of the show carefully scripted and incorporated drama and conflicts into the show to keep it from being otherwise “plain” and “straightforward”. The show would have the teams uses otherwise “dirty” strategies to gain advantages and to direct obstacles to other teams. The show itself does not only have conflicts between teams but also within teams and their members. For example, the teams that consist of lovers would display signs of relationship problems, disagreements and distrust in each other even if they are said to be happily married. The show displays to the public of how even the closest relationship can crumble under the pressures and panic of competing and constant worry of being eliminated. The show does not only attract viewers by means of “negative” types of entertainment.
The show’s drama and conflicts of characters also influence the public of how to live out their own lives. In the show, even with all the constant pressure and conflicts among teams and members, the problems would usually be worked out and the race would continue on. The show does not only attract viewer with entertainment but also of real life situations and solutions. Each team of lovers or friends or even family members would show the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship toward each other but in the end they would work it out. The viewers would see this and apply the solutions to their own similar problems. It is common to have conflicts with lovers and family members and with this viewers would not only watch this show for entertainment but also to seek out solutions to similar problems within themselves.
To sum up, the reason why the popularity of reality TV is exploding is because of how the viewers can associate themselves and their lives to the characters on the show. Reality TV is just like how it says, “based on reality” and is set up to let viewers interact with the show and find similarities with themselves and the onscreen characters. The genre is extremely popular because of viewer interaction and how successful it worked out.

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