Quick Rundown: The Resurgence of Reality
Reality TV was rumored to be dying or already dead. My first thought was, “That can’t be.” Why? Because people (especially Americans) will never stop being obsessed with the lives of other people and other people’s drama. It’s kind of like the tabloids. People still believe that stuff, which I can’t believe. Nobody watches live TV anymore (Do people still use DVR?), so the industry had to make a change in order to keep reality a reality.
The genre is more ALIVE than ever thanks to streaming platforms that are not only creating NEW original reality series (props to Netflix), but also signing deals for unscripted shows that have already aired on TV (props to Amazon Prime). It’s not that reality was dying, it’s that it wasn’t streaming. Now, we are able to easily catch up with reality TV on digital platforms like Amazon and Hulu, and experience original reality series (ones that are honestly more inspiring and meaningful to society) on Netflix (Queer Eye, anyone?)
I’m not sure how much room there is for new reality shows with new reality stars, but people will never forget their OG shows and stars. That might be why the Kardashians, The Bachelor, and Housewives of Whatever are still on the air, and why people love the recent reality revivals like Jersey Shore. Re-runs get insane amounts of views, as everyone enjoys revisiting past drama and burned relationships.
They call it a guilty pleasure, but are you really guilty about it?
Reality can feel like watching a historical documentary about a specific group/class of people, and the fads that came with their lifestyle during that time period. These real people had the power to set the rules of real life. You can’t say reality stars aren’t influential, and I can’t believe I just admitted that. It’s crazy to look back at the outfits we thought were iconic, the lifestyles we thought were glamorous, and the entertainment we thought was priceless.
Can We Resurge The Meaning Of Reality?
Legit Keep It Real: The best reality shows are the ones where the editors and producers do NOT have to completely intervene to make the footage into good TV. As an audience, we are under the impression that we are watching the real lives of real people. Does “real” have to be a constant state of crisis? Does “real” have to be people hating other people? I think this country could use real people really loving each other or real people making a real difference.
Viewers See Through The Script: I caught onto to the scripted “unscripted” shows a long time ago, even before the series finale of The Hills, that basically proved it was as staged as a young-adult drama on ABC Family. It’s pretty easy to tell there is acting involved when the situations are too unrealistic to believe, when two people who can’t stand each other just happen to show up at the same place out of ALL the places in the city, and when the reality stars are more like characters that never grow or evolve for the sake of the drama. That’s not humanity.
Hollywood should use their money and camera crews to capture moments of real human nature. Allow public figures to change for the better. Allow public figures to be themselves and live their best lives, even if their real life isn’t as action-packed as their fake one. People like what is REAL. These days, we search for what is REAL.
Also, can somebody count how many times the word “real” was used in this essay?