Reality TV: What’s The Appeal?
I have previously admitted to being a devoted Project Runway fan and,
when they did Super Fan makeovers last week, I admit that I shared some of the enthusiasm. This, of course, made me wonder about the appeal of reality TV.
In an older article in Psychology Today, Steven Reiss and James Wiltz write,
I know that Reality TV has helped to break down the division between the show and the audience in significant ways or the zillion viewers would be doing something else – they are engaging. So maybe, the shows we chose say something about us, for example, American Ninja Warrior is probably watched by people who appreciate that form of competition’. Are these the same folks watching Project Runway?
What do all these shows have in common: They are all competitions; people win or lose; All have people with some skill or talent (very loosely defined); The participants ‘talk’ to the camera or interviewer so there is the illusion of a truthful disclosure; We can imagine ourselves the situations created by our favorite shows.
Yes, the photo to the right is of Mood. I took it on a trip to NYC this summer. It was fabulous.
Steven Reiss and James Wiltz, Why America Loves Reality TV. Psychology Today 2001.
Minna Aslama and Mervi Pantti. Talking alone: reality TV, emotions and authenticity in European J. of cultural studies