Relationships and Reality Television

posted in: Various Musings | 0

There are so many viewing choices nowadays; how do you choose what to watch? You’ve got basic television, but you’ve also got YouTube as a free option. But then you’ve got cable TV, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube Red, PPV, etc., etc., etc. Plus Redbox and movies you can buy, etc.   Then there’s old stuff and new stuff. The list never ends. Considering one person could never watch everything available out there, how do you even decide what to watch? Looking through an evening’s listings could give a person decision fatigue!!!

But I think sometimes one of the reasons we continue watching particular reality shows is more than just the premise—it’s the people…or, rather, the type of people that are on those shows. Not that I watch a lot of TV anyway, but there are certain reality television shows I’d never waste my time on. There are a few that I’ve never watched and never will, and it’s mainly because of what I do know about them—childish people who love creating drama and always being the center of attention, no matter how vile or petty they seem. Sorry, but I can find that in real life if I have the craving (but, nope, I don’t). So even though I love the premise of Survivor, there are always certain types I’ll root for (and, obviously, it’s not the drama queens or the manipulative jerks).

But what about relationships? On shows like Survivor, you have people who form alliances. While that’s sometimes because one person will see another as valuable to them, more often it seems like they “click” with that other person and think, “Man, I’d like to go all the way to the end with this person.” Of course, when they establish that alliance (which usually involves more than just two people), then they usually get to know each other even better. But I see a lot of friendships forming on these shows. Whether they’re temporary or permanent, I don’t know. I know the information’s out there, but I’m not necessarily interested in what happens later.

So what about more intense relationships? I know the whole point of shows like The Bachelor is for a more intimate, possibly long-lasting relationship, but what about shows where that’s not the point? I remember the whole Boston Rob-Amber relationship the first time they were on Survivor, and then Rob returned for an All-Stars or two, and we found out that he and Amber married. But I also remember other relationships that didn’t go anywhere (that I know of) after the show: The pairing of Amanda and Ozzy is the one I remember the best, but I also think there was some inkling of romance in the first season between Greg and Colleen. There were more, of course, and that’s bound to happen…but my main question is this: is it possible for these relationships to last? I’d venture that, while you have the occasional Amber and Rob (still together, if I’m not mistaken), you more often have the Ozzy and Amanda who didn’t last once they returned to their respective lives. In the microcosm of a television show/game/contest, it works—but then here comes real life.

There’s a reason why I’m going on and on about this…but I’ll tell you more TOMORROW. So stay tuned!

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