The importance of reality shows and why we watch them

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Tiapet, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    So the other night while watching "Love in the Wild" my oldest difficult child/easy child says to me "why do you watch that ****?" She says this to most of the reality shows I watch (Survivior, Big Brother, The Batchelor, etc). My answer was pretty simple and I put more thought into it in days since.

    For me it is an escape, especially the one mentioned first. It IS a stupid show but entertaining on the most lowest level, like The Batchelor as well. It provides an outlet for my mind to shut down completely and utterly from this day to day crappola of the difficult children and all the stress that comes with it because it in no way is related or, often, has anything combined with any subject matter even closely related or thought about. Ok, maybe Big Brother might be the exception as you figure out personalities over time and what might be going on (for example a current houseguest - Ian- apparently has Aspergers and you see the behaviors and he talks about it in fact he talked about "stimming" the other night).

    Other television programming often has subject matter that relates somehow or just doesn't allow my mind to just let go as easily. Perhaps it's not like this for ya'll but I just find the "stupid" programs really let me to go to some empty place a lot easier then if I watch a program such as NCIS or such. It's kind of stressful. I mean I DO like other programs too but I tend to watch reality programs more and things like American Idol, The Voice, or even So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, America's Got Talent at times.

    Does this make sense to anyone? Does anyone else feel this way too?

    It's like a good book that can "take you away" to me.
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    My husband is grateful for reality shows: They remind him things could be worse; our difficult child could be a Big Brother contestant and embarrass us even worse than he has or laughing stock in Idol (well, he in fact can sing so maybe not that.) I can't really disagree.

    My problem with most reality shows is, that they ridicule people who really don't understand how they are being used or what kind of consequences their 15 minutes of fame can have for the rest of their life. Some of course are not bad. Voice of ... was for example much better (at least our local version of it), but most are awful. We currently have few really horrible wedding realities there they make most of their 'stars' look awful. And our Big Brother, ugh, only thing they want are scandals and make everyone laugh and feel superior compared to their contestants. Their biggest ambition is get life sex going on in their Big Brother 24/7 show and best way to do that is of course try to get them drink as much as possible.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I love reality shows. They provide great entertainment and require no thought, and when I'm zoned out in front of the TV I don't want to have to think too hard.

    On a side note, for those who watch Toddlers and Tiaras, one of the kids - Honey Boo Boo Child - is getting her own show.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just think they are fun to watch. What is Honey Boo Boo's first name? I can't place her.

  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I watch reality TV but my tastes run more towards Real Housewives of NJ and Beverly Hills, true crime, etc. I've never watched Bachelor/Bachelorette, Love in the Wild, Big Brother, et.

    I joke that these shows make me feel better about myself and my life.

    I've been watching a new show called "love handles." They take a couple with weight and relationship issues and work with them. I know I could benefit from that but I would rather die than actually be on TV.

    I can't watch Hoarders because it's too close to home or Intervention because of something in my life that triggers me, but other than that, I watch more reality TV than real TV. As to real TV, all I watch is Law and Order, NCIS and stuf like that (except CSI can't stand that show).
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Kathy -

    I saw that Honey Boo Boo commercial today. I'm sorry, what an awful child. I did not find her to be adorable at all and I could not understand one word she said. I did like the sister who said she wasn't a redneck because she has all of her teeth.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I can't do reality tv. Best I can manage is an occasional hoarders (to keep me motivated to clean), a rare My Big Fat Gypsie Wedding, and I indulge in Long Island Medium. The gypsie one was mainly curiosity but it got old pretty quickly as for the most part it is the same thing every show. Long Island Medium, well she's funny for one thing.......and I find it interesting to some degree. But it's her humor and personality that I enjoy.

    I just can't get in to it on any real level. After a few shows it's boring at best.

    Give me a good detective show (and tone down the overly graphic and sex scenes) or a good mystery or a good comedy any day. Unfortunately, the good writers seem to have all retired or passed away and no one with any real talent (with some exceptions) have stepped into their shoes.

    I was talking with Travis last night about cancelling the satellite. I rarely watch tv, including the news, it seems hardly worth what I am paying each month. I'm considering buying a new dvd player.......and investing in the super cheap old movies (which I love) at walmart and watching any new ones I want to see on Net Flix.
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Try also British shows. My current favourite is Lewis ( Very good detective show, good plots, very good dry humour, not too much gore or sex, excellent acting, lots of gorgeous buildings and imagery.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Kathy - the kid's first name is Alana. Her mom was the extreme couponer who mixes Mtn Dew and red Bull for her go go juice.
  10. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I would LOVE it if they brought back the good comedy sitcoms of yesterday, the family kind like Cosby show, Family Ties, Who's the Boss, and the one with Tim Allen to (can't think of the name off the top of my head). I have watched his new one. I do watch some from time to time of normal shows (like Drop Dead Diva and such). I'm just saying that the "trashy" type shows really can just make me go to an empty place and not think other then about the show. Yes, I agree, on some of them it's not nice how they are treated or shown (edited either). I can't control that and perhaps watching them is supporting it but I doubt my 1 person non watching is going to change it as a whole.
  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I googled Honey Boo Boo. Oh, dear. Wouldn't you know that the family would be from rural Georgia. I'll have to translate for the rest of you.

  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Thanks SuZir, I'll check it out. I often enjoy British programming. :)

    I had to stop books in the evening..........I seem to have a new issue with not being able to put a good one down until it's finished. If it's not good, I don't finish it.
  13. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I read your responses because I can't stand reality TV so I was interested to see why you all like it so much.

    Personally, I know so many idiots and jackdonkeys in real life, I can't imagine watching them on TV.

    Of course, I watch very little TV of any kind. I watch the morning news, Live with Kelly, The View, the 5 o'clock news and at night the only things I watch regularly are Castle (when that's a rerun I watch Hawaii 5-O), NCIS, NCISLosAngeles, Big Bang Theory, Masterpiece Mystery on PBS, sometimes MOdern Family, Archer when it's on, sometimes The Mentalist, and a few random things on PBS. Otherwise, give me a book.
  14. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My reality tv consists of the local news and the Weather Channel. husband likes Storage Wars and the pawn shop show set in Vegas. I also like Antiques Roadshow and that science show where they do experiments based on urban legends. I just don't find the manipulated interactions all that interesting,
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    The only reality shows I watch are Intervention and Ice Road Truckers - and am not quite sure how I got hooked on that one. I really can't stand the other ones - even the commercials are like fingernails on a chalkboard. Oh...difficult child and I are watching So You Think You Can Dance this season. It's the first season for us. They're recorded and we haven't gotten to Vegas Week yet - that might ruin it for me.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    For mindless escapism I watch sports and Lifetime (I really like Lifetime).

    Unfortunately, I don't believe reality shows are really reality...I think there is a lot of coaxing and acting in them, and I don't like most of the themes. I never watch any...I don't get the appeal either. I watched Idol until Taylor HIcks won and then I wondered if that wasn't staged too. But, hey, if it helps you get through your day, we all need our mindless entertainment :)
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    husband & I don't watch any reality shows, including American Idol type things. They're not reality. They make up situations and expect the people on them to react in the worst possible way. I've never had a one of them on my television even for a moment. Fighting, backstabbing, lazy kids laying around partying and getting paid for it? Not my bag. DWTS? There has never been a contestant that interested me, and there are some that downright offend me. Rigged voting. Nope nope nope nope nope not going to watch ever.

    I do watch some HGTV type home improvement shows, I like Auction Kings but not Storage Wars (too staged and what they say they're going to get out of that stuff in the storage locker is a big fat lie. I'm also hooked on true crime as an escape. Like Dudley Do-Right, they always get their man. But episodic TV is what I love, so long as it's done well. I especially love British Mysteries and am so disappointed that all BBC America runs anymore is Top Gear and Gordon Ramsey. I get my fixes from DVD's at the library and from Netflix.
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    husband and I used to like watching Coupling and Ab Fab on BBC tv.... so bawdry and hilarious!
  19. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I' haven't read all of the responses, so I don't know if I'm repeating. I don't particularly care for Love in the Wild stuff and those dumb dating shows. However, I really do enjoy the talent shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, because they just remind me of the specials that came on in the 70's, which were just fun, light and family oriented. Shows like that can also show my kids that if you have a dream, it can come true, if you really work at it.

    I like shows like Survivor, not for the same reason. I like it more for the strategy and the people interaction.

    The only show that I watch just for the entertainment value is Jersey Shore. Hey, I'm from NJ. If you're from NJ, you either hate it or love it. Most of them live in the same area as me. I grew up in the area. I know the bar troll scene. I laugh when I see this show, because I remember these places and atmosphere all too well and not all that much is different from when I was their age. I like people watching. I liked it then and I still like it. It's a train wreck and who can't look away from a train wreck?
  20. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Oh yeah, we love stuff on the History, A&E and stuff like that. One of our favorite shows is Swamp People. husband and I love History Channel and H2. Those are usually my go-to channels. Scifi and the National Geographic.....any of that stuff.