Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why do we love reality?

What is it about watching people living their lives do we find fascinating? We live similar lives as them, eat mostly the same foods, encounter the same problems, have friends or ourselves act the same way as these people "picked to live in a house," what is it?

The reason that I did not blog yesterday was that I was totally consumed with this year's newest season of Big Brother. This is my first season to watch Big Brother and I cannot seem to get enough. The production company gives us unlimited access to the "house guests" via video streams online and also limited access through Viacom's Showtime 2 Monday through Friday from 12am - 3 am, which means 9pm - 12pm Big Brother time. With all of this access, you can see much more than what is shown on the regularly scheduled programs on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Because I was not satisfied with Sunday's episode, I went on a search for more video and more content and found a plethora of videos on You tube. Now I am content with hearing stories and knowing what has already happened in the BB house that will be airing on CBS tonight.

It was so weird because I could not pull myself away from it yesterday. Even when I went to lunch, I could not stop thinking about it. I am almost at the end of a really good book and the whole time I was reading it, I was still thinking about what I had just learned from the Big Brother house. Once I had finished watching all of the videos available, I asked several co-workers if they watched BB so I could have somebody to talk to about it, and could not find a soul who did. By the end of the day, I was still wanting more.

The whole thing about this is that I watch other reality programming and have not really acted this way before. I watch the Real World and Road Rules and other similar shows. There is information on the Internet about these shows, but I don't find myself searching all over the Internet for information about their newest seasons. Maybe this is because they are really tight lipped about their new seasons and they are not "as live" as Big Brother, where BB airs a live House guest eviction on Sunday nights.

Overall, do I relate somewhat with the characters? Definitely. And the thing is that if I were ever to meet any of these people, it would be such an awkward encounter because I would know so much about these people and they would know nothing about me. I would ask them specific questions about their life that I learned from the show and they would give me a look of "you don't know me" and be really hesitant to respond. The moral is, we cannot make friends from TV. It is hard to invest time in a show and get to know about people and receive nothing but a passage of time and some entertainment in return. Maybe this is the psychological response to Reality TV.

I guess that it also speaks a lot about the person. If you can watch the show and just live your life ok without watching it one day, then you are ok. There are no. You are not crazy. If you find yourself not being able to function without knowing what happened on the latest episode of your favorite reality show or how a character responded or need that daily dose of your favorite character, then I would think that some life changes would need to be changed. Go outside and play. Go meet up with some friends. Make your own reality show.

With that said, do I need to make some life changes? Yes. Is it going to happen immediately? No. Will it be easy? Definitely not.

Photo Credit : CBS

1 comment:

Ryan Fellers said...

I don't necessarily dislike reality TV shows...there just not my favorite. There are some funny ones out there, Dog the Bounty Hunter is pretty funny. I agree with alot of what you said though. I feel like throughout TV history people always find emotional attachments to characters whether real or fiction. All the heroes and perfect families give us something to look up to. All the dysfunction and comedy help our situation look better than it really is. Sometimes you don't even need TV. I've found myself playing out a future event in my head just to make it my own perfect situation. You're right though, its better to live your own reality....It's just difficult to do it.