Reality TV is certainly a cheap form of entertainment and probably my favorite form. Something about being a fly on the wall in somebody else’s living room is thrilling and engaging. It seems strange, in retrospect, that we spend so much time watching other peoples lives’ play out on TV. It is also strange, in retrospect, that we take the the narratives to be truths…and even when the scripts seem exaggerated we pretend in our minds that this so called reality is in fact real.
The first reality TV show I watched was American Idol. Soon after I got into TLC’s, Kate Plus Eight. However, as soon as I started watched The Real Housewives’ franchise I was officially hooked. In fact, for the past 8 years or so the main shows’ I’ve watched have been from the Real Housewives series.
If you are unfamiliar with this TV show franchise, here’s the gist: In a handful of cities across the nation, the Bravo TV network follows the social and personal lives of a group of affluent women who live in each of those cities. Most episodes center around petty gossip, though some deal with more real life problems…like an affair within a marriage, cancer, and mental illness.
I don’t watch every city but my three favorites are: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, New York City, and Orange County.
I find myself embarrassed simply writing about these shows. I know that they are often staged, about superficial topics, and glamorize the lives’ of rich women. I know that these women are not educating me…and my Dad would probably argue they are rotting my brain. So I have to ask myself, why do I spend so much time watching them?
I think my answer to that is simple. Though these shows are considered reality TV…the lives’ of the characters are so far from my personal reality. I am fascinated by other people in our world…this show allows me to escape my day and mindlessly consider other peoples’ problems.
After all it wouldn’t be a guilty pleasure if it was good for you.