Reality TV keeps audiences entertained

By AnnMarie Chacko
October 7, 2005

It was a Monday night, and I really didn’t have anything planned or homework to do. I decided to see what was on television.

Flipping through the channels, I discovered “Laguna Beach.” Immediately, I was captivated.

I couldn’t tell you if it was the realness of the situations or that these dramas were not being acted out, but in fact lived, that caught my attention.

The show presented an outlet of some sorts where I could live out my frustrations through the girls and guys of “Laguna Beach.” It seemed that whatever I was going through, they were going through the same that particular episode.

Shows like “Laguna Beach” help me in a way. Because these teenagers are having the same problems as I am, I can learn from their experiences and adapt their findings to my own.

However, there are other shows that are incorrectly labeled reality shows. “Survivor,” “Amazing Race,” “Fear Factor,” and shows like them, where you could win huge amounts of money, do not, in my mind, qualify as reality. They’re scripted, rehearsed, and played out.

These shows are great for entertainment but realistically who, in their daily lives, dangles from an office building window to test out their fears? These are people who have auditioned to be on shows like this. They weren’t randomly asked one day while crossing a street. They had to send in tapes and mail in postcards.

“Laguna Beach” presents something different. Like “The Real World,” it follows people around doing what they normally do. Granted, these kids are rich and can basically do whatever they want, but we are able to connect through their experiences.

“The Real World” is a show where they do, in fact, audition, yet when they’re picked, they’re put into a house where they will have to live with six other people for a period of time. Sounds familiar college residents?

“Big Brother” has the same concept, except these people are not allowed to leave the house. This seems like my life with my over-protective parents.

These three shows are examples of reality television. When the audience is able to relate with the people on the show, I believe it qualifies.

Some may argue that the people who are competing on shows like “Survivor” and “Fear Factor” are everyday people with real situations as to why they want the money so badly. I completely accept that. However, these challenges are scripted.

The other shows are not written by other people. These are real stories lived out by real people, and we get to see it really happen.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

AnnMarie Chacko

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