For you Reality TV haters, myFM fan Katie states her case (email to firstname.lastname@example.org):
It all started with Survivor for sure… the concept that a group of REAL people were on a tv show was so new and exciting. I was in elementary school so I sort of grew up with the growth and expansion of reality tv. I’ve tuned in and out of a few… I stuck with Survivor for maybe the first 10 seasons, then Big Brother, Amazing Race, The Bachelor/Bachelorette. The latter is the only one I’ve really stayed with. They’ve all just gotten so over-produced, and obviously scripted. I think what I’ve really come to hate about them is that people get famous from them. People who won the earliest seasons of Survivor and such… they would do a round of talk shows and then you’d never hear of them again. Now you have people going on these shows hoping to come out famous on the other end – and so now it’s no longer real people at all. How can we even call Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Jersey Shore, or 19 Kids and Counting reality shows? Do people really think that’s reality? It’s a group of self-made celebrities putting on a perpetual show.
…I say all that, and yet I am a religious viewer of The Bachelor/Bachelorette. There’s something that’s a bit more raw about it than other reality shows I’ve watched. It’s a vicious show that brings the worst out in people, and yet I (along with millions of others) eat it up. And they’ve got it figured out – whoever the next season’s Bachelor/ette is, is a contestant from the previous season… normally someone who’s gotten a good “edit” and that you already love and want to see more of.
TV was a way to escape real life, similar to film, but from the comfort of your own home and only for a 30-60 minute commitment. Reality TV offers the same thing, but you can see yourself in these situations. It’s more relatable. Sure, I can “escape” while watching Breaking Bad, but it’s fake. The only things I know about the characters are what’s been told to me in the show. Reality TV show “stars” are “real” people who I can learn more about off-screen (especially in today’s world with social media), and you get a glimpse into someone else’s life that may not bee too dissimilar from your own. The Bachelor/ette, as messed up as the concept is, is about love… and who doesn’t love love?! It’s also about heartbreak, travel, conflict…. who can’t relate to those things?! There’s also usually exceptionally attractive people involved, which doesn’t hurt.