Reality shows have been around for longer than you might think. Candid Camera in the 1940s was arguably the first series of this type, and the format has been refined since then to give us some memorable shows and unforgettable moments.
So, what is it about this type of television that makes people want to watch it?
To Get a Different Type of Entertainment
In 1973, An American Family became arguably the first modern reality show, and it set the scene for much of what was to come afterwards. This series focused on the Loud family from Santa Barbara as the parents, Bill and Pat, went through the process of a divorce.
It was something completely new for viewers back then, and had a massive impact on American culture. In fact, some of the key moments from An American Family are still classed as being among the most exciting moments in the history of TV.
However, it’s also worth noting that some of the most common complaints about An American Family are the same issues that have attracted negative attention in many reality shows since then. Most notably, the complaint from those taking part that the material had been edited to show the events in a negative light.
This famous show also brought up the issue of whether the subjects act naturally or not when a camera is present. Despite all of the debate and controversy caused by reality shows, this has proved to be a unique form of entertainment with lasting appeal.
Looking at the first reality shows in the US, An American Family came after The American Sportsman but gave us a very different sort of atmosphere. Since then, the genre has continued to diversify and give us many different ways of getting an in-depth look at people’s lives.
To Guess Who Will Win
For many viewers, reality shows are just about getting caught up in the drama of the situation and watching it all unfold. Others prefer to choose their favorites and support them to the very end, which can mean voting for them in every round and defending them when speaking about the show with family, friends, and work colleagues.
Other people like to guess who the eventual winner will be, and may use an online betting site to wager real cash on this. You can check here the current odds for Big Brother TV show, whose upcoming 24 edition is premiering soon on CBS.
As one of the most popular reality shows, the question of who will win each new series is always something that causes a lot of debates in homes and offices across the country.
Of course, the chance to vote for our favorite contestants has added a huge amount of drama to these shows, as well as making us feel more involved in the outcome. They often have a weekly elimination test or some other sort of challenge that defines who will be up for elimination on that week.
If your favorite contestant is up for elimination, it adds a lot of tension to the week, and can also turn you against their rivals or the people who caused them to run the risk of elimination. A huge amount of work goes into the planning and production of these shows, and a lot of it is designed to get you supporting one of the participants or actively disliking others.
To Feel a Range of Emotions
When looking over the previous points, it seems clear that reality shows are all about causing us to feel strong emotions. The producers don’t really care if we feel positive or negative emotions towards the contestants, as they just want us to feel strongly enough to keep watching.
This study carried out by researchers from the Ohio State University uses the Reiss Profile to gauge which basic desires and motivations are fulfilled by watching reality TV. It seems clear that this type of television appeals to a broader range of our emotions than most other types.
For example, a single episode of Big Brother or Love Island or any other popular reality show can feature things like romance, betrayal, comedy, and anger. There are few other types of television show that can flit so effortlessly between all of these extremes.
Above all, these series feel real to us. Deep down, we know that the participants probably aren’t acting the way that they would if no camera was present. We also realize that the action is cleverly edited to show each of the characters in a different light.
It would be impossible for even the best script-writers to produce the kind of drama and action that we get from the top reality shows. Things might be slow at some times and it might seem forced at other times. But those special moments where something incredible and unexpected happens make up for it all and ensure that reality TV continues to occupy a special place in our hearts.