Reality TV: Why are we so obsessed with it?

I must admit that I am a big fan of reality TV. Alongside the dreamy One Direction, reality TV shows are well and truly up there in my top guilty pleasures.

I must admit that I am a big fan of reality TV. Alongside the dreamy One Direction, reality TV shows are well and truly up there in my top guilty pleasures. Being the nosy person that I am, I find ‘Fly on the Wall’ type programmes a great way to legitimately take a peek inside celebrities’ homes and to gain a general insight into their personal lives for an hour or so a week.

In the UK, Peter Andre is arguably one of the most successful celebrity personalities in reality TV. He is honest, likeable and cracks jokes which are so unfunny they’re funny. In one episode while doing a signing on a summer’s day he introduces the audience to his ‘smallest fan (The fan being an electrical appliance, not a person.’ (Ha ha cue weak laughter…)

However, last September he revealed to HELLO! Magazine that his ITV2 show Peter Andre: My Life would not be returning for an eleventh series because he wants to “leave it on a high.” And fair play to him in my opinion.

The image or the money?

He avoids the embarrassment which I’m sure former TOWIE star Amy Childs suffered from as her reality show It’s All About Amy was axed from Channel 5 after just 8 episodes due to low viewer ratings.

But the main question is—why do various celebrities want a film crew following them around in the first place? They seem to have every conversation listened to and their raw emotions displayed to a huge audience. Obviously, money is an attractive factor. Despite the invasion of privacy, it doesn’t seem like a total hardship to simply go about your daily life and get paid for doing so.

Promotion is also incredibly important. For Peter Andre his show was a great way for him to advertise his new music, forthcoming tours, TV appearances and his recently opened New York Coffee Club cafes (while clearly showing his versatility too).

Across the pond the ‘famous for not being famous’ Kardashian clan are also successful in the world of reality TV as they are now into their ninth series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians with a number of spin off shows too.

Prone to receiving bad press, having a ‘real life’ show can enable them to create a better image for themselves while entertaining us at the same time with their crazy antics.

Entertainment value

I guess it can be said that we, as a nation, enjoy people-watching—plain and simple. We have a natural interest in other people’s lives and when those people are celebrities with their lavish lifestyles and beautiful mansions it makes it all the more entertaining.

I also find reality TV shows a great form of escapism from my comparatively dull life. I can just switch on the TV and switch off my own worries for a select amount of time. I love how emotion-packed some episodes can be too and these make a refreshing change from a standard ‘happy families’ portrayal which can seem fake and uninteresting.

In an episode from Peter Andre: My Life in 2012 the camera captured the exact moment when Peter received the news of his brother Andrew’s life threatening illness and it was quite honestly heartbreaking. If I could have stepped through my TV to give him a hug believe me, I would have!

That’s why I prefer reality TV shows to most scripted dramas and documentaries. They may not be the most educational of programmes but they are entertaining, give me a chance to forget about the piles of reading I need to do for the next day and to be honest, they can sometimes be very relatable (in terms of emotion, not material possessions. Although I’d love to be able to relate to a relaxing spa break every month or a brand new Porsche in my garage).

What do you think about reality TV? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: R_Pigott / Flickr