The Highlander

Let’s be real…

Reality T.V. becomes vastly popular due to underlying stupidity and purpose

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Let’s be real…

Carla Ballard, Reporter

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Reality television. Whether you watch it to laugh, to feel inspired, to cry, or, in my case, because you’re just so entertained by the irrational thoughts of the characters; the reality of Reality T.V. is that there is no true reality to it. We blatantly watch these shows to see Kim Kardashian cry in Keeping up with the Kardashians, or to see who gets to go out with Nick Viall on The Bachelorette. They’re classified to be dramatic, but I find the so-called “drama” to be more humorously stupid, if anything.

The name in “reality television” itself is contradicting the effect it is having on its watchers. Reality T.V. has gone from something viewers watch to learn how to make snicker-doodles and pumpkin pie during a holiday season such as this one, to shows that consist of watching two Kardashians fight over if they can make it to a photo shoot or not. Super worth our time, right?

“There is a famous anthropologist who coined the term “reality T.V.,” and she thought that it was going to become something that was really important, and that was going to change our world for the

better; I’m not so sure that it did, or that it’s reality,” English teacher Seth LeBlanc said.

The intended purpose of reality T.V. can be explained through different ways, even as a psychological experiment.

“Let’s do this experiment, we’ll put people together, give them a little competition, we’ll see what dynamics emerge and what we can learn from it or what at least is entertaining about it,” AP Psychology teacher Cynthia Hawkins said.

After watching reality T.V. for as long as I can remember, the intended “experiment” inside every episode really just seems to me as a bunch of people manipulating each other for solely the purpose of entertaining. Oh, and money, of course.

Why do we watch reality T.V.?

“I watch it because it really takes me away from my real life, and makes it seem as if I am living in their life,” junior Erida Dervishi said.

It is indeed as simple as that. I find myself watching reality T.V. not only to laugh at the utter ridiculousness inside of each show, but because I find myself invested in the lives of the actors because the show is non-fictional and more as they say, “real.”

The only problem with this is, as entertaining as these shows may be, is the audience watching them is normally young teens such as myself who begin to base our everyday living norms off of what we see on the television we watch.

“A younger component has become, ‘How much makeup am I supposed to wear based on how much Kim Kardashian’s wearing? How much am I supposed to flaunt my body? How can I model myself after that?’ because they are clearly popular which is what is getting attention,” Hawkins said.

Take it from someone who keeps up with the Kardashians: these T.V. shows truly do make me feel like I’ve got expectations to live up to, and I am not alone. Whether it be wanting to marry rich, get major lip injections, post a selfie every 5 minutes to your Snapchat or even get a pet pig (as Chris Kardashian happened to do in Keeping up with the Kardashians), these shows leave the audience persuaded that they are doing it all wrong.

Despite all of the negative backlash on reality T.V. nowadays, it has had some positive influences on others, excluding myself. The intentions of the television genre were to create something more realistic and lively for others to watch, and that it did.

“The purpose was for it to be something real and more believable; something that you can invest in because it is more true to life and what we experience instead of a constructive narrative. I don’t think that that’s what it is anymore. I think the purpose now is just to entertain and to shock,” LeBlanc said.

Is any reality T.V. show that believable? Whether it be a cooking show, or just a show about rednecks with long beards, these people being filmed are still actors, they are still not 100 percent themselves, and there really is no true reality to reality T.V..

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