For this assignment, I will be using the show “Basketball Wives” as a base.
Basically, this show is about exactly what the title of the show sounds like. It is about the overall lives of the wives of famous professional basketball players such as Shaq. They dine at fancy restaurants, hang out at exclusive clubs, roll up in luxurious cars while dressed in luxurious clothing. This show simply displays the lives of those who are of wealth and does not really express much of “reality” at all. At most parts of the show, the women discuss the most recent gossip going around in the celebrity-world and amongst eachother. These women do not need to work to earn money since they have their wealthy-professional-basketball-player-husbands to take care of all of their needs and necessities.
The way I see it is that the “reality” part of this show only applies to the women of the cast. The show seems like it shows everything that is true to life, but never would you see one of the wives makeup-less or dressed in comfortable pajamas that are realistically priced and that isn’t considered “fashionable”. These women look nearly “perfect” without an extra pound on them while having pristine hair, nails and skin all the time no matter the time of day. What’s real about that? Reality TV is not reality at all, it is just an expression of what we all wish could be our own reality. Reality TV is mostly a depiction of a celebrity-led lifestyle that producers use to try to attract the average audience into wanting to become what they see on the screens. Sure, we all think Reality TV is a joke, but why do we all still watch it? This is because we are so hooked on what could be our reality that we are stuck in someone else’s. Unconsciously, people take in some habits, fashion sense and personality from what they see on TV into their own lives, which could be the target of the producers. Unfortunately, it seems to be working for most viewers.
One of the main differences I see between Reality TV and documentaries is the significance of important happenings. Reality television shows are basically the end-results of a man with a camera running around and following celebrities capturing every moment in their lives, whether significant or not, to show the audience that this is how we should live. Whereas, documentaries typically document a specific occurrence to show the audience and perhaps to motivate in a positive manner while teaching viewers something that could be seen as educational.
Overall, reality TV is far from “reality”. The purpose of these shows is to just show the viewers what reality should be, but ironically, not at all realistically..
– Donna T.