Why do people watch reality TV?

Are people dangerously disillusioned with their livelihoods such that they have to keep watching others on TV? This is a question that many scientific papers try to unravel as these programs continue to undo our civilized society. The shows are continuously attracting a large audience every new day. There are mixed reactions that explain such a rise.

The great quantity of the programs looks like they are as reliable as the seasons, with shows like the “American Idol” and some Soap Operas being more popular than any other time ever. Their imitations are proliferating the cable channels at an alarming rate. In the entire world, people are fascinated by the rising popularity of reality TV programs. This paper explores the reasons behind the popularity of reality TV programs.

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Advantages of reality TV programs

To understand the reason why many people watch reality TV, it is imperative to analyze the advantages of these programs. Firstly, these programs can be informative and thought provoking (Hill, 2005). For instance, programs that deal with crime can educate people on the dangers that policemen deal with on a daily basis.

Other programs that deal with health issues can help people, especially pregnant women, depict early signs of complications. It is possible for viewers to learn of the disease symptoms through the information gotten from some of the reality programs like Dr. OZ, for example. In these programs, viewers also identify themselves with the celebrities in the view that they will one day become ones. These programs provide people with an opportunity to showcase their natural gifts and make people aware of social causes.

What is so appealing about reality TV programs?

The greatest appeal that makes these programs so popular is that viewers feel as though they are real participants. Secondly, the suspense created by these programs makes viewers anticipate the next episodes.

Especially the Soap Operas create a high level of suspense that makes viewers remain glued to their TV sets wishing to see the next move. Other programs, such as the American Idol, give their viewers toll-free numbers to participate by making their remarks. This has a great appeal to the viewers who would always want to make recommendations.

Thirdly, most of these programs deal with the real life situations that people are facing. Thus, other individuals watch them as a way of trying to find means to come out of their flabbergasting circumstances in life (Hill, 2005). For instance, married men may watch reality programs that deal with cheating to find out tactics to deal with their cheating wives. Another appeal is that viewers are given a chance to compare their lives with those of the shows’ protagonists (they are able to blend fantasy with reality).

However, some reality shows promote poor behavior such as emphasizing just sexual aspects of dating as opposed to developing mature and loving relationships. This is a detrimental effect of the programs. At times such detrimental aspects can contribute to some social problems in the society.


Different people watch reality programs for various reasons, but the greatest of all seems to be the fact that these programs make the viewers feel as if they are part of the action. The above article explores the people’s behavior and the manner in which the programs affect their livelihoods, either positively or negatively.


Hill, A. (2005). Reality TV: Factual Entertainment and Television Audiences. London: Tailor & Francis group.


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