Reality TV Culture in 2018

By: Karl Nelson, NYC Correspondent/Social Media Executive 

The first reality television show aired back in 1973. Since then there’s been MTV’s Real WorldBasketball WivesLove & Hip Hop, and the list goes on. But the question remains: Is the culture of reality television good or bad for today’s society?

Being here in New York City, I spoke with New Yorkers to get their opinions on the current culture of reality television.

Their answers reflected this idea that reality television does more harm than good to the average viewer mainly due to the gossip, drama, and scripted format of today’s most popular reality television shows -- shows like Keeping Up with the KardashiansThe BacheloretteBasketball Wives, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

When I asked New Yorkers how much reality television they consume on a weekly basis, some said they tune in regularly despite their gripes while others said they’ve stepped away from those types of shows due to the negative notation attached to reality television culture.

I was curious as to what it would take for those particular individuals to start watching shows based off of “reality” again. Their responses seemed to focus on the need for more unscripted shows as well as more shows that place a focus on prominent individuals and the crafts they’ve worked so hard to master over the years.

After hitting the pavement with this topic, I was convinced that it’s not so much reality television that is harmful to our society today, but, instead, it's the format. The fact of the matter is this. America has moved far away from the days when sitcoms on cable television made the world go round. We live in a society today where reality television trumps the majority of the other content that airs across different television networks.

That said, perhaps reality television would be more of a positive addition to American households if it was to hone in on more authentic, substance-based content.

What do you think? | KMN