Reality shows taking over

Story by Ashley Truman, Messenger Staff Writer

Shows like Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, and Wipeout have become especially popular with our generation . Reality shows like these are constantly on television. A reality show is generally unscripted and results in dramatic and humorous events. Millions of people tune in every week to watch these shows but why?
According to many seniors here at Placer they watch reality television because it is catchy. Crazy cast members, ridiculous challenges, and unrealistic events lure teens in to watching these shows everyday. The drama in them keeps us all hooked.
Erika Buehler enjoys reality television because “[I] like the drama of other people’s lives even though [I] know its fake, it’s still shocking.”
Kenzi McGown agrees, “Us Americans like drama and the hotties that television has to offer.”
While television often portrays the image of beauty, fame, and perfection, reality shows reveal the lives of everyday people. It’s a way to escape from our own problems and focus on someone else’s. Along with being dramatic they can also be funny, shows such as Wife Swap, American Idol, and The Real Housewives of Orange County make this very apparent. Wife Swap takes two very different families and swaps one parent from each for two weeks. Their lifestyles are normally extremely opposite which results in an exceptionally dramatic and emotional switch. As tempers flare the show becomes more and more humorous. Another type of reality show is like that of a game show. These put contestants in awkward or amusing situations. Wipeout for example is a game show that starts out with 24 contestants and narrows them down through a series of odd obstacle courses. Only 4 make it to the Wipeout Zone and the winner of this course then wins the $50,000 grand prize. The challenges change each week and new obstacles are added. Most memorable include the “Big Balls” and the “Sucker Punch.”
There are so many shows to choose from. MTV also has a bunch of crazy shows to watch including True Life, 16 and Pregnant, Jersey Shore, and the Real World. These shows expose the lives of many individuals and you become hooked with one episode. Jersey Shore follows the lives of 8 roommates and their insane adventures over the summer. The first season did so well that they created a second season and this became the highest-rated series in MTV’s history.
It is roughly split between those who prefer reality shows and those who don’t, but all agree they are addicting.
“I don’t have a favorite I like all of it,” says Alexis Strickland.
Karly Kenworthy would prefer to watch something reality based. “I love drama; I want to be like them one day.”
Nikki Johnston also prefers reality television. “…GTL is my life.”
The effects these shows have on not just society but our generation alone are immense. Some of these shows promote inappropriate sexual behavior, drinking, partying, and idiotic behavior. Many agree that they are a terrible influence.
“I think they are a bad influence on society because they are corrupting the younger generation. It makes them think that it’s okay to act like that,” explains Nicole Tagge.
Erika Buehler strongly believes that they are a bad influence. “Jersey Shore is because all they do is “smash” and have T-shirt time and I hate T-shirt time. I hate hair gel and tanning salons because they give people skin cancer. Kids these days are too tan.”
No matter what anyone says about reality television people are still going to watch it. The dramatic nature of these shows makes them almost irresistible.