What’s Reality In Television?

I love the route in which television has taken, with the exception of the multitudes of reality shows.  When I heard somewhere that our viewing pleasure will be overrun by Reality, I thought to myself that there is no way that’s going to happen.  Well, with shows like American Idol, The Surreal Life, The Bachelor, Fear Factor, So You Think You Can Dance and The Real Housewives – to seriously just name a few – we are inundated with people who want their lives displayed for all to see.


I, unfortunately, could not resist watching a few but who can’t?  I like America’s Next Top Model, The Amazing Race and Face Off so I have not fallen victim to too many of those shows.

When did this happen?  Is it because television has gotten so make believe that people just want to watch shows that are more real to life – hence, the Reality Shows?  Is everyone tired of the laugh tracks and shows that appear a little too unbelievable, where certain people could not possibly hold certain jobs?  For example, Mike and Molly?  There is no way that Mike could be a cop since he is overweight.  I guess we have gotten tired of the shows that depict life as a wonderful and happy adventure where we are all living the American dream or getting by on the Canadian lifestyle.

I have turned from evening sitcoms to the dark comedies on HBO such as Girls, House of Lies, Shameless, Californication, Boardwalk Empire and Newsroom.  Those shows depict what is as true to life as we are going to get.  They involve swearing, people getting back at others for ill treatment, engaging in sex and everyday occurrences that actually happen in our everyday lives.

The fantasy shows such as Game of Thrones and True Blood also involve dark comedy but what appears to be in another dimension from Earth.  Both worlds have earth related qualities but vampires in Bon Temps, Renard Parish, Louisiana?  That’s unlikely but the show makes it seem very real.

Life is not a bed of roses and I am glad that there are shows on television that depict some semblance of reality where people are not always happy and where they are not always getting the best out of life.  I like shows that are more relatable – that’s what I call reality.


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