Reality television as we know it today, started with MTV’s The Real World in 1992, and we could easily say that it has come a long way ever since. While endless studies have been done on the subject of Reality Television and its influences on society, one question remains unsolved, what makes ‘ordinary’ people so fascinated with the lives of other ‘ordinary’ people? Let’s just say that everybody needs a little bit of escapism in their lives, and watching reality shows it like a good brain therapy. The problem is though, that we the abundance of reality shows that were produced over the years, it made the reality tv genre seem pretty bad in terms of quality and content. Some people were even afraid to admit that they were watching a reality show because of the genre’s bad reputation.
Let’s get real for a second, not all reality shows are about future brides getting plastic surgeries before their big day or a husband catching his cheating wife live and on camera for the world to see, in fact, you’ll be surprised to know that there are still a few shows left that intellects could seriously appreciate.
Hey, if it’s on the National Geographic channel, it has to be worth our time right? The Wicked Tuna which started running in 2012, follows the journey of tuna fishermen who fish in the North Atlantic Ocean for Atlantic bluefin tuna fish. Besides the usual storyline where the fishermen battle over who catches the most amount of tuna fish in the Outer Banks, they also raise other important issues regarding the destiny of the bluefin tuna.
Married At First Sight
Married At First Sight is probably one of the best reality tests that were done in social psychology. Imagine meeting your future wife or husband for the first time on you wedding day! Well this is exactly what happens on the reality show which features three couples each season that get matched up by a group of experts according to different personality and other parameters, who agree to get married without any prior encounter. They do everything backwards, and they are documented for the first months of their mutual lives to see how they ‘survive’ while having professional back up of a psychologist, a sociologist, a sexologist and a humanist chaplain.
This one is just a feast for all those foodies out there who have a real interest in learning about the cooking and about the best techniques out there in the culinary and wine world from the best professional team possible. The format is pretty much a standard elimination process based on taste, technique, teamwork and other criteria. A real treat.
Beauty and the Geek
We know what you’re probably thinking, a reality dating show with beautiful, shallow girls paired with a bunch of geeks to try and win $250,000? Despite the ‘bad’ first impression it might have, this is actually one of the best social experiments that were done on television. To watch the interaction between the girls who are supposedly ‘dumb’ and ‘shallow’ with the group of super smart guys who are real life nerds, is simply fascinating. The personal as well as the external makeovers that both groups go through while being faced with different intellectuals challenges, is just unbelievable. Although the show doesn’t run anymore, do yourself a favor and watch the reruns.
The concept behind Undercover Boss is just genius. Each episode features a different boss who’s at a very high position in the company he’s working for (sometimes he’s even the owner) who goes undercover as an employer at a lower level in an attempt to find out the different flaws in the company from the inside. That way they can really get the best sense of all the little politics, the employees’ true feelings and everything that needs fixing. Truly engaging.