There’s no real point in speaking about the popularity of reality television, mainly because it is so obvious. No one can deny that the sitcom, once the number one star of network television, has fallen second place to entertainment where real people do real things for real results.
In fact, I think that the genre of reality television has climbed so far up the entertainment ladder in terms of popularity that it may have leveled out. I’m not saying that the genre will become less popular. In fact, as far as numbers are concerned, reality television will most likely grow for a good while. Not to get technical, but what I am trying to say is that if the growth of reality television has been exponential thus far, and is now shifting toward something more linear.
But this specific fact is not the real reason why I think it’s important
The reason I even began to think about all of this is because of this show on MTV called ‘The Reality Show.’ When I first saw the commercial, I was really struck by what it said about reality television. I’ll explain the synopsis as clearly as I can: Andy Dick and fellow reality star celebrities (people whose original reality show appearances were so popular that they were hired to be featured as themselves on other reality shows) are judges whose jobs are to select from a pool of real people who think that a situation they are involved in is really interesting and to give one of the groups a reality television show.
So let’s break down what is really important about this show. At first, I scoffed at the double reality show thing. I mean, I think the fact that this is a reality show about competing to be in a reality show is a little weird. However, I think it just means that good ideas about how to use this medium are running low.
The important parts about this show are the other two aspects. The hosts embody the very idea of a reality television star, someone who is hired to be on television not because they can perform written material but because their very personality is performable and entertaining to watch while they interact with other people. The contestants are battling for the most entertaining real situation.
Both of these situations imply that certain personalities are more entertaining than others, and therefore more profitable. But, this is nothing new. Performers in nonreality television have been banking on this for-
Filed Under: A & E