A reality show is people right off the street having their "15 minutes" ...
Reality TV! Junk television! Reality TV is my most guilty pleasure. Just give me a big bowl of popcorn, the remote, and a slice of reality television, and I'm good to go.
I love all forms of reality TV...game shows, shows where people are stuck trying to live together in tight quarters, shows where the contestants perform, travel, or invent their way to victory. They're all good...well, except for Fear Factor, that ghastly show where they crawl into boxes with bugs and stuff. That one is out.
What do I love about them? Their "unscriptedness." A reality show is people right off the street having their "15 minutes," not phony, overpaid actors. And it is 100% natural. We writers try to write realistic dialogue. But hey! Reality TV dialogue is the real thing. Would you look at a photo of the great Pyramids if you could actually see the real ones? What better classroom is there for a writer to learn dialogue than watching the real thing in all of these colorful TV situations. I would say I don't look to be a better writer; but rather, I am a better writer because I look.
Reality TV is a study in human nature, a window to worlds I wouldn't normally know about. I'm finding out about what makes 20-, 30-, 40-, and 50-somethings tick. I love to see how they make decisions or form bonds or plot and scheme. It's wonderful stuff by ingenuous people having a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Like the name says, it's REALity TV. What's not to like?
Copyright 2007 JO Janoski
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