How is it that we find ourselves hooked to reality television shows?

Reality TV is a genre of TV programming which presents its content in an unedited format - it’s real, unscripted and unpredictable. This form of programming includes game shows, documentaries, soap operas, crime series and more.

Here are five reasons why we can’t seem to get enough of reality TV.

1. Engaging stories

Everyone loves a good story that’s probably why we can’t seem to get enough of the Kardashians. The story is a key element of any reality TV show. The plot of the reality TV series needs to be strong enough to hold the viewer's attention and make them feel like they're part of this production. This is what happens with talent shows especially the ones where people need to vote for their favourite contestants.

2. The characters

The characters make up the show in most cases. Sometimes we watch certain reality shows not just out of interest, but because we are looking for people we can connect with - or people facing challenges. One of the traits of reality TV is the vulnerability of the characters. On a semi-scripted show like a talent show, it’s easy for contestants to not show their true nature but there’s still that opportunity to get to know their traits.But on a show like “Big Brother”, which is unscripted, many watch the show creating a bond with the housemate and scrutinizing their every move.

3. Emotions

Whether it's sadness, excitement or just darn right insane, emotions are just one of the characteristics we look forward to. These emotions help the audience relate with the characters.

4. Thrill of the unknown

People love to tune in to guess what happens next. With game shows people watch to see who gets eliminated or stays on for another week.

5. Watching the ordinary transformed to extraordinary

Reality TV shows have the ability to sensationalise the ordinary. An example of this is what was done with American series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. Alana popularly known as Honey Boo Boo is a child known for her quirkiness on “Toddlers & Tiaras”. Between 2012 - 2014, Alana was given a show with her family which followed her adventures and showcased the lifestyle of her family. The family was portrayed as dysfunctional, unhealthy and impoverished.

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