RTM’s Top 5 Reasons to Watch Reality TV

OK, I’ll admit it! This morning, when I should have been working, I watched reality television…and yes, I was wearing fuzzy pink slippers, and I snacked on cookies (Pecan Sandies) while kicking back in my most comfortable living room chair.

© Laurence Agron | Dreamstime.com
Reality TV’s “Ice loves Coco” stars
Ice T and Nicole Austin

And guess what? I don’t feel guilty. As a matter of fact, I feel energized and inspired after watching last night’s episode of  The Voice, which I missed because I worked through the evening. Thank goodness for DVRs!

Hey, what can I say? 

To those of you who are Reality TV snobs, I get it: scripted programming is much more creative. I appreciate the amount of time and talent that go into higher brow productions. I agree that the collective galaxy of reality television stars often depicts women (especially women of color) as coo-coo court jesters who bully and backstab frienemies for ratings.

But what can I say? I’m an addict…and I am a fan of Atlanta Housewife NeNe Leaks.

To my fellow Reality TV enthusiasts, it’s time to come out of the shadows! Reality TV— especially competitive shows like my favorites:  Top Chef, The Pitch and Project Runway—isn’t that bad. Actually, these shows can be good for your professional development and your soul.

Here are my best arguments in favor of  every MaeB’s right to enjoy reality TV with pride:

Watch  Reality TV, Guilt-free

1. Reality shows can be inspiring. They document how talented (and sometimes not-so-talented) people) muster their courage and go after their dreams. Reality MaeBs believe in themselves so much, they often risk everything they have, for a chance to realize their dreams. While few contestants attain the ultimate prize, every reality runner-up should get cool points just for trying.
2. Contestants achieve the unimaginable. If you’ve ever faced an impossible deadline, watching Reality TV may convince you that there’s no such thing. It’s amazing what the brain can conjure and accomplish in a matter of minutes. True, working under the pressure of a stopwatch, reality-style, may not be the ideal way to tackle your “to do” list, but setting deadlines works. And if reality contestants can produce in 15 minutes, imagine what you can accomplish in an hour.
3. TV judges remind us that we all start as beginners. While the judging portion of reality shows can be harsh and honestly, a bit much, these segments often include nuggets of encouragement. Reality judges often share that they might not perform as well as some contestants if faced with particular challenges. And at times—like when recording mega-star, Cee Lo Green, gave an impromptu singing lesson to a disappointed contestant on The Voice this week—TV judges show us that it takes more than raw talent to reach the top, and we can always learn something new that will improve our skills.
4. TV competitors show the human side of losing. Haven’t we all picked a reality personality and pegged him or her as the ultimate winner? Only to see our favorite defeated by their own silly mistake, or worse, by an unfair turn of events? Watching how these runner-ups handle the agony of defeat can offer examples on how to face disappointment with class. On the flipside, some reality contestants serve as cautionary tales, showing us exactly what not to do when things go awry.
5. Reality TV offers lessons on achieving greatness. Winners at the reality game put their best foot forward every day, in everything they do. They learn that playing it safe or saving their best for last is the fastest way to lose their place on the island. Witnessing the growth of reality contestants as they improve upon their personal bests—week after week—can serve as a blueprint for success and show everyday MaeBs that they can accomplish great things, too!

 What if anything have you learned by watching reality TV? 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *