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Why reality television is so popular - Essay Example

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Reality television is a genre in television programming that features documentation of actual occurrences in the lives of normal people instead of professional actors. The genre is believed to present the unscripted aspect of television programmes, which prove not only to be…
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Reality Television Popularity Reality television is a genre in television programming that features documentation of actual occurrences in the lives of normal people instead of professional actors. The genre is believed to present the unscripted aspect of television programmes, which prove not only to be educational but also entertaining. Reality in this case is illustrated as a provocation of various constrains and compromises that determine the quality of presentation in reality shows. As such, reality television is considered an amorphous category of television since it includes details from other genres to produce a rich presentation (Sanneh, 2011). The intrigues and richness in presentations of reality television is facilitated by the existence of subgenres within the programming. Such subgenres include documentaries, game shows, social experiments, hidden cameras, makeover shows among others. Popularity of reality television is known to hit an all-time high following the airing of Big Brother and Survivor shows, which lie within the reality genre. As such, reality television has received global recognition with a massive following upsurge associated with the success of presentations put forth. There are various reasons that explain increased popularity of reality television, which will be highlighted in this paper.
The popularity of any reality television show is directly linked to the level audience involvement, and as such the audience should be in a position to relate to the participants. The main catalyst for reality television popularity is money, which is pumped into the industry to produce a rich feature. Reality producers are known to offer large sums of money to participants who essentially may lack career skills, and transform them into productive members of the society (Soong, 2003). This is evidenced in games shows where participants are expected to indulge in define activities and are rewarded according to their proficiency. The promise of money and the associated excitement have heavily contributed to the unrelenting popularity of rewarding reality shows.
In addition, instant fame often associated with participation in reality television shows contributes to popularity of the genre. The production of reality features is known to entail placing ordinary people in unique situations and gauging their reactions. This works to the advantage of individuals seeking to prove themselves by enduring set tasks in the show. Moreover, reality shows that offer no monetary rewards such as the MTV’s The Real World, receive thousands of participants in their auditions due to instant celebrity tag accorded with participation. Similarly, as norm has it, an appearance on television awards instance fame.
The society is known for its curiosity and ability to derive pleasure from drama and controversies that are highlighted by reality television. Plainly put, most television viewers are nosey and as such, reality television provides most of the content that quenches the thirst for intrigues and controversies. In the same light, reality features provide a platform on which raw human emotion is observed when ordinary people are faced abnormal situations to make decisions based on morals and skills (Cabledealsspecial, 2013). This motivates the audience to question their reaction in the same situation, which in turn creates suspense and thirst for more.
Works Cited
Cabledealsspecial. 2013. Why is Reality Television so Popular and How has it Impacted the Viewing Public? Retrieved from
Sanneh, K. 2011. The Reality Principle: The rise and rise of a television genre. The Newyorker. Retrieved from
Soong, R. 2003. Reality Television. Retrieved from Read More
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