Wednesday, December 7, 2011

5 Reasons Why We're Obsessed With Reality TV

Tiny and T.I.

We have a new addition to the reality TV family. T.I.’s “The Family Hustle” just premiered and it already has the Internet abuzz with commentary on the new show. Unfortunately, I don’t have cable, but I know if I did, I would be sitting in front of my tube like millions of others checking it out.

From “Real Housewives Of Atlanta” to “Basketball Wives”, folks are addicted to reality TV. Hey, I still watch “Survivor” and “America’s Next Top Model” (don’t judge me). So, why are we so obsessed with the reality TV genre? Here are the top five reasons I came up with:

  • A sense of voyeurism – Reality TV allows us to peep in on our “neighbors” and see what they are doing, how they are living and what they have. In other words, we are nosy. We want to know how “Nay-Nay” is doing and, naturally, we compare our lives to hers.
  • Escapism – Many of these shows cater to a lifestyle that most of us won’t obtain…the luxury cars, the swanky parties, the luscious meals that they dine on. “Basketball Wives” is a prime example. We’re in a recession. It’s kind of nice to see people who appear to have no limits when it comes to cash. 
  • To feel better about ourselves – While we like to see their upscale lives, there is one thing that many of us feel better about when we watch reality TV: we can tell ourselves “thank God I’m not like that”. For example, people talk about how drama-filled and “hoodish” most of the women on reality TV are. The next step is to feel better about yourself because you’re different. (Well, hopefully you are.) We watch these type of shows to feel better about our moral compass.
  • It makes a great conversation piece – I can’t tell you how many times a reality show has saved me in a conversation where I had nothing in common with the other person. Reality TV allows us to come together. Co-workers line up at the watercooler to talk about what happened last night on the hottest show. Women gossip over the phone about them. They are the universal connector.
  • Drama – Lo and behold, we cannot forget the main reason why we tune in: drama drama drama!  I can’t tell you how many times my pulse raced and my eyes bulged as I watched the latest cat-fight. The executives of these shows know this. That’s why they purposely cast people who will bring on the drama.
So, in closing, reality TV does serve a purpose. For those of you who don’t watch, it’s a trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon.  


  1. I'm part of that crowd that doesn't watch reality TV. I try to get into it, and then I just lose interest. It sucks not being able (or wanting to) follow along with all the gossip. Oh well, I'll just stick to my cold cases :-P

  2. You know what I've noticed: a person is either a fan of reality TV or a fan of those law/criminal shows (it's almost always either/or).

    I never could watch stuff like "Criminal Minds" but I could watch reality TV for hours on end. ;-)

  3. I'm a reality TV junkie. Real Housewives, Tia & Tamera, LaLa's Full Court Life, Top Model, even Tori and Dean are the ones I watch regularly.

    What you said is so true. I live in Atlanta, but I've never been to most of the places these women shop and eat. It's fun seeing how the other half lives ...

    Great post!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Chicki! Yeah, they are really addictive. In a way I'm glad I don't have cable anymore because I would never get anything done. ;-)