Reality TV – love or hate?
I have a confession. I’m addicted to reality TV. I can’t get enough of it.
Very soon the new series of ITV’s Love Island will be starting and I’m literally counting down the days until it’s on my TV screen. It’s a show that sends single people abroad to live in a luxurious villa in the sun. The audience at home then watches their highs and lows, their arguments and how their relationships and friendships form and fall apart.
Love Island is just the tip of a huge reality TV iceberg. Other popular British programmes (which I also love) include I’m a Celebrity ... Get me Out of Here!, Big Brother and Geordie Shore. All these shows have something in common: people seem to either love them or hate them.
Perhaps we love them so much because they actually use real people instead of characters. Series and films with actors are great to watch but they aren’t real and we’re aware of that. With reality TV we can become more invested and more interested because the ‘characters’ are real and (usually) not acting.
Maybe we love reality TV because the people featured more often than not show the extremes of our society. Shows featuring ‘normal’ people or non-celebrities often include people with intense personalities who are bound to clash. Big Brother, which follows the lives of people living in a house together away from the outside world, always includes contestants with a range of personalities. It can be fascinating for us viewers to watch real people who perhaps wouldn’t usually interact with each other as they try to live together.
However, reality TV isn’t popular with everyone. Some people consider it sad to watch it. I’ve often heard people say that if you watch reality TV, it’s a sign that your own life is boring. Why watch someone else’s life when you have your own to live? Why would you want to sit at home and watch someone else arguing about silly things on the TV?
Some people don’t like reality TV because they believe it doesn’t show true reality. The people in these programmes are regularly accused of acting and you often see a phrase flash up somewhere during the opening or closing credits informing that parts are scripted or set up. Viewers can feel cheated that the ‘reality’ they are watching isn’t completely real after all.
Whether you love or hate reality TV, it cannot be denied that this genre has increased in popularity over time, and while I understand it can be set up sometimes, I’m still so excited for Love Island to be back on our screens!