Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Alright, I will be the first to admit it. I absolutely love reality TV. 

From reality dating shows like The Bachelor to singing and talent competitions like American Idol, the entire HGTV network (I love House Hunters, and maybe I should consider being a real estate agent), and docu-series/concert films, I enjoy watching it! Reality TV interests me because I enjoy learning about people I like and look up to, for example, celebrities, and seeing how others embrace different life situations. Reality TV is meaningful and enjoyable to watch. Why? It allows us to get a firsthand perspective of humanity from the people we watch on the shows. 

Reality TV is often criticized for being “fake” or not realistic. While this can be the case with many of the shows on the air, for example, producers planting fake scenarios and props to make it more entertaining or even having the contestants memorize a script, the emotions and how people interact with each other are real. I like reality TV because not only is it entertaining, but it also helps bring light to a lot of scenarios that regular television shows may not cover. 

For example, in The Bachelor and American Idol, many contestants come on the show and are open and vulnerable. They often give details of their lives and journeys, sharing them with the world. People bringing up personal topics such as mental health, challenging family dynamics, or other experiences that are not talked about not only help us as viewers feel more connected to the person but also help reduce the stigma and bring a humanistic approach, something that regular scripted series cannot do, that completely encapsulates what it means to be human.

With documentary and concert films, it is always entertaining to learn about concepts. That is a given. But it also ties back to helping our idols and celebrities seem more human to us and letting us appreciate their work on a deeper level instead of just screaming their song lyrics. For example, in Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana, she is open and raw about what she is experiencing and her feelings of self-image while on tour. Doing something like that takes strength- regardless if you are one of the biggest pop stars in the world or someone from a small town trying to make it big while singing your heart out. 

Reality TV and unscripted network shows are often criticized for being dramatic, annoying, staged, or “not real.” While this may be true in some sense, regardless, they are not scared and do not shy away from touching on challenging concepts and bringing them up in the shows. Not only does it help bring awareness to issues that need to be discussed, but it also allows audiences and viewers to feel closer and more connected to those on the screen.