The very first reality show I ever watched was in 1992. I was a student at a performing arts high school and the biggest dream I had in the world was to move to New York City. When the true story of 7 strangers living The Real World on MTV debuted I was in awe. I instantly identified with Julie, the southern girl who was hoping to make it big in the city, and I tuned in every week to find out what was happening. Watching the show felt like having a permisable glance into a new world, because of course it was all real. Wasn’t it?
People refer to reality TV as a guilty pleasure. I think we can all let go of the guilt. Many of us are watching two to three reality programs this summer and having a blast! We like to watch people in unusual settings, master chefs at work, gifted dancers and singers — we go on the journey with reality TV.
Andy Dehnart gave a brilliant TEDx Talk about why reality TV is important. In a recent article in the New York Times, Andy shares, “reality television reveals a lot about humanity. It is at once a window and a mirror, showing how real people react and interact in extraordinary situations. It also forces us to consider how we’d respond — and how we are responding to what we watch.”
If you are drawn to watch reality TV shows you are not alone!