Reality takes over TV

by Lindsay Taylor

“Cops,” “American Idol,” “The Osbourne’s,” “Real World” and “The Bachelorette.”

Some of these reality shows have been around for several years. Some are in their first or second seasons.

“The only one I’m really into is ‘American Idol’,” said freshman Ashley Bugler. “It’s something that can actually happen. ‘The Real World’ is another one. I remember watching it when I was younger.”

The WB has its series “Pop Stars” and for country music fans there is “Nashville Stars” that airs on USA.

“It’s gotten out of hand,” said sophomore Amy Jobe. “All the shows are the same.”

“Joe Millionaire” is said to be a combination of “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” and “The Bachelor.” The show is about 50 women traveling to Europe to meet and possibly marry a man the producers have led the women to believe is worth $50 million,

when he is really a construction worker that makes $19, 000 a year.

“The people that go on those shows have no life,” said Bugler.

“There has to be some guidelines for the people on these shows,” said Jobe. “This is not their real life. I almost wonder if they are given a plot to follow.”

“The Real World” was started by MTV in the mid to late 80s. It was the start of reality TV as most people know it today. The goal was to find out what would happen when real people were put in real situations with complete strangers and all the rules were taken away.

“The ‘Real World’ is a good show,” said Nicholas Lahr, “but who wants to watch ‘Joe Millionaire’?”

“The topics they are coming up with are getting cheesier,” said Bugler. “It’s like they are getting desperate for ideas.”

In a new show, called “The Will,” members of a family compete in challenges to win the inheritance of a wealthy family member who cannot decide who to leave his fortune to.

“I think reality TV will move on just like everything else,” Bugler said. “People are getting sick of it all the time and the shows are getting worse.”

The latest craze of reality TV shows started within the last five years and has rapidly progressed during the last two years. But the roots go back much further than that. Most people believe that “America’s Most Wanted” is the oldest, but it only dates back to 1988. The oldest reality show is “Candid Camera” which first aired in 1948.

“There are different classifications of reality television,” Bugler said.

“The MTV stuff is what I consider to be reality TV. It’s people’s normal life.”