Something For Everyone on Reality TV

September 24, 2016

Reality TV

Whether you love it, hate it, or love to hate it, you probably find yourself absorbed in a reality television show from time to time. Every week, college kids gather together in front of HD televisions to catch the most recent episode of Project Runway, children and young teens send text messages to vote for their favorite contestant on American Idol, and families tune in to see who will be eliminated next on The Amazing Race. The truth about reality TV is that there really is something for everyone-programming has come a long way from just the classic “true story… of seven strangers… picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped”-there are reality shows for adventure junkies, food lovers, fashion connoisseurs, sports fanatics, and just about everyone in between.

Of course, those who still want traditional, The Real World-style reality shows can certainly find them. The Real World continues to place strangers together in beautiful houses in exciting cities across the country and the world, and the show remains popular. Big Brother has a similar premise, though a major difference is that in this case the housemates are kept in isolation from the outside world throughout filming. If you are intrigued by the lives of celebrities, there is never a shortage of series documenting the lives of stars, from Ozzie Osbourne to Paris Hilton.

Those craving a little less drama and a little more action will probably find what they are looking for with reality shows such as Survivor or The Amazing Race. On Survivor, one of reality television’s biggest successes, “tribes” of contestants are stranded in remote locations around the globe and given little more than a few tools and water containers with which to survive. They are left to acquire food, clean water, and shelter on their own, and must compete in various challenges each week and avoid elimination by their peers. Survivor is now shot in high definition, making it an even harder to tear yourself away from the TV screen. The Amazing Race is another reality show packed with adventure, though it is adventure of a completely different variety. This show pits teams of two-often friends, family members or couples-against one another in a race around the world.

Anyone interested in fashion has surely caught at least a few episodes of Project Runway, which gives aspiring designers the opportunity to showcase their talent on national television through weekly challenges and runway shows. Fans might also be interested in America’s Next Top Model or Shear Genius, competitions for would-be models and hair stylists, respectively.

Sports fans may enjoy MTV’s Two-a-Days, which gives viewers a glimpse into the lives of football players at an Alabama high school. Similarly, BET’s Season of the Tiger sends a camera crew to follow members of a college football team in California. One of the most successful sports-related reality shows of all time is Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter.

There is also, of course, American Idol for lovers of pop music, Top Chef for viewers interested in food, and hundreds of other series for those of us just flipping channels when we’re bored. Reality television is only becoming more popular-and producers continue to come up with new and exciting twists to keep us hooked.

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