According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, reality is “the quality or state of being real” and “a real event, entity or state of affairs.” If reality is a real event, then what we all live everyday is also reality.
Why, then, are Americans so enthralled in recent reality shows such as Joe Millionaire, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Meet My Folks? Shows such as these are becoming more popular for people of all ages because of the drama and excitement of normal occurrences, with added twists, but on the other hand, many people are bored and sick of them.
“Some shows are better than others. Survivor was good the first time around; it was innovative.
But by the third time it was old. Fear Factor is just about who can eat the grossest thing, and Meet My Folks is a lame attempt to cash in on the success of Meet the Parents,” said senior mass communications major Deirdre Boylan.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are similar in that they each have a single person looking for a mate. They are introduced to a number of possible spouses and eliminate a certain number of candidates after each episode.
Each episode shows the bachelor or bachelorette on dates with the people they can choose from until they have eliminated everyone except the person they would like to continue dating and possibly marry.
Meaghan Lamothe, a freshman finance major, has seen each show a few times and finds them amusing.
“If created for the sole purpose of entertainment, these shows are successful, but if people actually use these shows to meet their future spouse, it’s re-gosh-darn-diculous,” she said.
Joe Millionaire, a more recent show, is about a single man named Evan Marriott who has to choose between a number of single women who all believe he has $50 million, when, in reality he only makes $19, 000 a year. Throughout the show, he has to lie about his life and money to try to impress these women.
He gives a certain number of the women a necklace with a different precious stone each week, according to whom he likes the best and could see in his future.
Meet My Folks throws a different twist at the contestants because in the end, the parents choose the future spouse for their son/daughter. Contestants in this show fight for a weekend trip with the person of the opposite sex.
Their past exes are allowed to talk to the person picking who they like the best to throw off his/her judgment.
Reality shows are new and becoming more and more popular around the country and around the Quinnipiac campus. About half of people like them while the others think they are outrageously pointless. A discussion in an anatomy class on campus decided that the quote “Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events and great minds talk about ideas,” said by Admiral Hyman Rickover, made complete sense for this new craze for reality shows.