Reality television first exploded into a phenomenon in the early ’90s with MTV’s Real World. Later on, came even more reality series such as American Idol, Survivor, Big Brother and The Amazing Race. One by one, a new type of reality show popped up, The Bachelor, America’s Next Top Model and of course, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. At the time, it was new and exciting. The idea of being able to peek inside the lives of strangers competing for a record label, a modeling contract, a million dollars or a husband, was truly incredible, fun and unique compared to the usual scripted shows we were used to seeing. Of course, getting to look inside the homes and lives of the rich and famous was also a major plus.
There are now hundreds of reality TV shows, and although we are now more aware of just how much ‘reality’ is in reality television, we still can’t stop watching.
So why do we continue watching if we know most of the storylines are fabricated? It could be because we still believe that some of it could be real, or it could be that we want it to be real. But most likely, we watch it for the drama- which every single show in the genre is well-known for.
One series in particular, is the guilty pleasure of millions of Americans, The Real Housewives. The franchise began in 2006 with The Real Housewives of Orange County, which followed the lives of several affluent housewives in the area. The drama, the gossip, the lies, the vicious cat fights… it all made for some pretty solid entertainment and the ratings flew through the roof. Several spin-off series followed such as New York City, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Washington D.C., and so on. One of the most popular spin-offs of the franchise to date is none other than The Real Housewives of Atlanta, where the drama, scandals and shade are always on point.
Of course, The Real Housewives of Atlanta has its fair share of critics as well. The series has been criticized countless times for its fabricated storylines and negative stereotypes that it portrays. There are also many who believe that shows like this are just “killing our brain cells” by the second. And maybe that is why we love it so much? Maybe in our busy, hectic lives it is okay to allow ourselves to veg out on the sofa, take a break and focus on someone else’s drama for a change?
[post_page_title]Atlanta’s not so elite[/post_page_title]
The Real Housewives franchise follows the lives of wealthy women, but when the first season of RHOA began in 2008, Jezebel claimed that 4 out of the original 5 stars of the show were actually broke. According to the site, NeNe Leakes, Sheree Whitfield, Lisa Wu and Kim Zolciak, all had financial problems at the time. Appearing on the reality TV show helped them each get out of their financial ruts, but it still leaves us wondering- how real is reality TV?