Breaking Down the Subtle Art of Reality TV

Reagan Dempster, Cav Culture Editor

Adrenaline rushes through Woodson students as they sit apprehensively in front of their TV waiting for what happens next. They continue to wait the entire week to tune back in to the next episode, craving the drama and resolution to cliffhangers from previous episodes, addicted to the drama of reality TV. 

Reality TV is widely loved; it allows students the opportunity to escape personal problems and encompass themselves into the world of reality TV. It creates a reward system in the brain by rewarding people for coming back. For example, in The Bachelor the episodes always end in the middle of a big drama, and viewers want to come back to see how the drama ends.  

The Bachelor Poster
Photo courtesy of

“My favorite show is The Bachelor,” said junior Jenna Doung. “I like The Bachelor because it is very entertaining and filled with drama.” The Bachelor is a romance show where women try to compete for the bachelor’s roses to stay for as long as possible. The number of roses decreases every week. The show typically ends with an engagement between the last girl and the bachelor. “Every episode ends in a cliffhanger,” said Doung, “which gets me hooked and invested.”

Love Island is a show where contestants on an island are competing to fall in love with each other. Viewers vote out their least favorite contestants, who are not in deep relationships. “My favorite TV show is Love Island,” said junior Darcy Harris. “Love Island is my favorite reality  TV show because I like all the different accents and there is a lot of drama.” Love Island contestants come from all over the world, so there are many accents. Love Island drama consists of arguments, break-ups and friendships. 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Poster
Photo courtesy of

Some Woodson students prefer older reality TV. “My favorite reality show is Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” said junior Eladia Dinacola. “I love Fresh Prince of Bel-Air because it involves many unspoken topics of American society.” Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, starring Will Smith, aired in the 90’s, when these topics were more taboo. The show addresses interracial dating, parent absenteeism and substance abuse. “I like how it can tie in all those heavy topics while still being equally as comedic and family friendly,” said Dinacola. 

1000lb sisters is a reality show about the Slaton sisters who, averaged together, weigh more than one-half ton. Amy Slaton wants to have kids; however, she cannot because of her weight. Tammy Slaton is near bed ridden,and also is motivated to lose weight. “1000lb sisters is my favorite show,” said junior Tabitha Campbell. “I love watching the dynamic between the sisters and following their journey.”