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Why “The Real” is the Best Talk Show on TV

The Real is an American panel talk show featuring a group of outspoken female hosts who all bring their unique perspectives on various topics such as race, education and motherhood. First airing in 2013, the show featured Adrienne Bailon, Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry. 

While being a stereotypical talk show that discusses pop culture, The Real discusses important political and social issues from a variety of perspectives. 

As opposed to other talk shows that feature well-established celebrities, The Real features real people who have had vastly different lived experiences especially in terms of upbringing. Each host grew up in households with different income levels, cultural restraints and family relations. Loni Love grew up in the projects, a subsidized housing program for low-income households administered by federal, state and local agencies. Jeannie Mai came from an immigrant household that experienced issues such as language barriers, employment opportunities, and prejudice while raising children. On the other hand, Tamera Mowry gained fame for her teen role as Tamera Campbell on the ABC sitcom Sister, Sister. These circumstances have led these women to have different life experiences. As a viewer, it’s so rare to witness the conversations that spark between this group due to the experiences of their different upbringings. 

Yet, the most exceptional part of this show is that it continues to be one of the few talk shows composed entirely of women of colour. It is a cast made up of strong Black, Latina and Asian women that are not ashamed of their culture or identity, yet share their experiences on television. These shows are important because they allow the voices of women, especially women of colour, to enter the mainstream media. Representation matters because it influences the way minorities view themselves and are viewed by society. The Real is one of those shows that change the landscape of television, inspiring young women of colour to pursue their dreams and feel represented by their nation. 

Check out full clips of The Real posted on YouTube at The Real Daytime.

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Netanya Thomas is a third year student studying Media and the Public Interest at the University of Western Ontario. She is passionate about issues surrounding mental health, women's rights around the world and storytelling. Through her work, Netanya aspires to make a difference in people's lives while working towards issues she's passionate about. Overall, she believes a good story has the power to empower people and make us realize the new complexities of life.