Reality television may not be all bad

By Nicole Della Cava

Contributing Writer

Ever wanted to know what it takes to become a model? There’s “America’s Next Top Model.” Do you want to know what it’s like to go to rehab? There’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” If you really think that becoming a guido or guidette is your next calling, then start watching “Jersey Shore.”

There are reality TV shows that seek actresses, singers, daredevils and dancers, but what real talent do the stars of “Jersey Shore,” “Say Yes to the Dress,” “Hoarders” or “The Real Housewives” really have? Honestly, none of these TV shows really express talent or an importance; what they do have is a real understanding of what drives our generation today.

The directors of the reality TV shows have done their research to find out what our generation finds stimulating and entertaining. In order for a reality TV show to become popular, it must play to the needs, desires and emotions of its viewers. Seeing that the media and entertainment worlds are dominated by the youth, directors know exactly who to attract. Our generation is less conservative and reserved compared to older generations. Reality TV has taken advantage of this fact and turned entertainment into a world of possessions, gossip and dirty humor. People are obsessed with strangers’ relationships, as demonstrated in “The Real Housewives,” embracing a new life during difficult times such as in “Teen Mom,” and competing for the prize in “Survivor.” Who wouldn’t want to be titled the toughest individual, both mentally and physically, on reality TV? Simply stated, our generation today is hooked on reality TV shows like these.

These shows demonstrate that our generation is competitive, imaginative and most importantly, bold. I think, as a general rule, our generation wants to be the best, brightest and most unique in what they love to do. Reality TV humiliates people and shows weaknesses, but in the end, there is always redemption and success that intrigues the audience. That is what our generation today sees in reality TV. If you look at “Teen Mom,” many adults think that their children should not be watching it, for it is about a foolish girl who messed up her life. That girl struggles and through her several mental breakdowns, she is forced to grow up faster than most teenaged girls. “American Idol” transforms ordinary people into famous artists, similarly forcing young adults to grow up in a world of challenges and hard work. 

When our generation looks at these TV shows, they see what it takes to be bold, which enables them to reflect that drive and ambition that they see on TV into their daily lives. Besides, anyone who watches “Jersey Shore” knows that they would never want to act like Snooki or “The Situation,” as they roam around bars and skip out on work. Yes, it is incredible funny to watch, but our generation is smarter and can truthfully say, “Who would ever want to live like that?”


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