Over a decade ago, in 1992, MTV introduced a whole new genre of television with a simple few sentences.
MTV.com described a new series and said, “This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a loft and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. The Real World: New York.”
The premise of the show was to bring together seven normal, everyday people, from across the country, and tape their interactions with one another for a period of a few months.
The show was very popular amongst the MTV-crowd, and subsequently, a number of new seasons followed, placing new strangers in many different locations, including Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Hawaii.
Seeing the success of this show, MTV created another reality series “Road Rules”, which put strangers together out on the road, doing a number of different tasks.
However, the genre of reality television remained confined to MTV for a number of years. Only recently, in the past few years had reality television become wildly popular ad has exploded into the mainstream. It began with shows such as “Survivor”, “Big Brother,” and “The Bachelor” being the first few.
Since then, reality television has moved to nearly every channel, encompassing many topics and attracting many different types of people. Daytime TV shows on The Learning Channel such as “The Wedding Story” and “The Dating Story” are meant to attract women who are home during the day. TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and “While You Were Out” have created an enormous fan-following among do-it-yourselfers nationwide.
During primetime, there are a whole slew of reality shows, ranging from “Fear Factor”, a show that challenges contestants to do a number of daring stunts, to “Who Wants to Marry My Dad,” a show where a divorced dad lets his children choose for him a new wife, to the upcoming “The Littlest Groom”, where a number of little and average sized women compete for a 4’5″ man’s heart.
With all these reality shows hitting television today, it seems safe to assume that everyone out there is looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
Every television viewer dreams of seeing their face on television, even if only for a short amount of time. It seems that people will do anything to get on television. But is this true?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of young adults who would not want to be on a reality television show.
“It’s called ‘reality’ TV,” sophomore Sarah Nee, a psychology major said, “But it doesn’t reflect reality at all. The producers choose people to be on TV in order to create conflict. That’s not real life.”
Fellow sophomore Jennifer Pescik, an English major, agrees. “I don’t think I would want to be on a reality show. I don’t like the idea of being recorded all the time in extreme circumstances or personal situations.”
Former Quinnipiac student Richard Bird also said he would not like to be on a reality show. “But if I had to choose one I guess it would be ‘Joe Millionaire’, ’cause they give him money at the end and he gets to hook up with such hot girls it’s not even funny.”
Many other males have the same idea.
“I’d like to go on’The Bachelor’. I think it would be cool to be surrounded by a bunch of femininas all trying to get with me,” sophomore Brian Magalpine said.
New England Technical Institute student Christopher Cyr said, “I’d like to go on Joe Millionaire so I could be my lazy self and get really hot chicks.” He also joked, “It would be cool to be the guy on ‘My Big Fat Obnoxious Fianc’ so I could ruin the biggest day of a girl’s life.”
An example of someone who would like to be in reality television to get time in the spotlight and to be remembered for years to come is fellow New England Tech student Robert Prior.
“I’d like to go on American Idol,” he said. “Then when I get to the last round, it would be funny to scream bloody murder and ruin the show.”
Still, even with all of the new reality television shows emerging, there are many people who still long to be on the original reality show, “The Real World”.
“Being on ‘The Real World’ would be great,” sophomore criminal justice major Darrah Black said. “You don’t have to pay for food or an apartment, and they give you a job for while you’re there. It’s a great excuse to take some time off from school. Plus you get public exposure, and you get to come back for reunions and Real World/Road Rules Challenges and stuff.”
Sophomore psychology major Michael Persico agrees. “I’d like to go on a show like ‘The Real World’ or ‘Road Rules’. It seems like the people on there have a lot of fun. And after the shows are over it seems like they get the most out of their 15 minutes of fame.”
Berklee College of Music sophomore Anique Langlois would also like to be on “The Real World”, but for a different reason.
“I want to be a good role model to the people who are watching.”