His take: The state of reality television
Read a female perspective on reality television.
Reality shows fill up my time and schedule with reason: They make me laugh, gasp and cry (not really). I love reality shows because they are entertaining without being pretentious. They know what they are, and they don’t pretend to be anything different.
I should clarify, though, which reality shows I’m talking about. I don’t like the traditional, super-popular ones like “American Idol,” “Survivor,” “Dancing with the Stars” or “The Amazing Race.” I prefer the shows that follow around “real people” or celebrities as they lead whatever lives they lead. “The Hills,” “The City” and “NYC Prep” exemplify my favorite type of reality show. We as the viewers get a window into the lives of these people we don’t know. We’re like flies on their walls, however real the shows actually are.
Then there are MTV’s staple “Real World” and its semi-spin-off “Jersey Shore,” which place random people into a house to see how the different (or very similar) personalities interact with one another. These shows are always certain to bring the drama, because, well, the producers make sure of it. They overreact about everything, and I love it! There is nothing better than a fight between two housemates about something as pointless as refusing to clear a plate.
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy any competition shows, because I certainly watch “America’s Next Top Model,” “Project Runway” and “Making the Band” on a regular basis. The difference is that aside from just seeing their performances, we also get to see their lives in the house, which again adds drama.
For me, reality shows are really all about the drama. Well, that and laughing at the ridiculous people who take themselves completely seriously. While many people call the cast members of “Jersey Shore” despicable, I take enjoyment from their ridiculousness and complete confidence in what they are doing. Never once does Snooki question her method of eating pickles, while Mike “The Situation” insists on lifting up his shirt no matter what people say. There is nothing for me to do but sit there and laugh.
The problem with reality shows is that some people take them too seriously. Yes, some are meant to be serious, like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” or “American Idol.” I, on the other hand, like to recognize them for their entertainment value and leave the highbrow art to other shows like “Mad Men.” Just because a show doesn’t have “substance” doesn’t mean you can’t sit and laugh yourself silly.