Western students embrace reality TV

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Reality TV appears to be pretty popular at Missouri Western, though many say they don’t plan their schedules around it—and a substantial number say they have no use for the shows.

Griffon News asked 100 students across Western’s campus what their five most favorite reality shows are, and over a third listed MTV’s Jersey Shore.
Junior Camila Solano said this show was her absolute favorite.

“I guess I like it because the people are so close to my age that I feel I can relate to it,” Solano said.

Documenting the everyday lives of athlete Bruce Jenner and family, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, tied with American Idol for second place on campus.

In keeping with the spirit of many reality shows though, wouldn’t it be more exciting if we skip the rest of the positive comments from students, and focus on the negative?

Although they may admit to frequently taking in reality TV shows, many students said that watching them is at the bottom of their priority list. Sophomore Elissa Lauren was one of those students.

“I watch them only when nothing else is on because I think they’re pretty stupid and pointless,” Lauren said.

Graphic | Brooke Carter

Junior Alecia Jenkins is another student who has a few favorites she catches on occasion. However, she brings up the point that reality TV most likely contains very little reality.

“I think there’s more behind the scenes than we know, like it’s all fake,” Jenkins said.

Just over a quarter of students said they don’t bother watching reality shows at all. Freshman Nick McIntosh said he’s not into reality TV because of the spoiled characters, and their drama.

“Those people are getting paid good money, but they want to bitch and complain about how bad things are for them,” McIntosh said.

Freshman Heather Glenn is a non-traditional student with children. Glenn said it was the content of the third most popular show on campus, Teen Moms, which concerned her.

“I decided we were done with that show, because a lot of those reality shows are not good for our kids at all,” Glenn said.

Dr. Brian Cronk, a professor with Western’s psychology department, weighed in on what draws many people to reality TV, despite the sometimes-negative subject matter.

“It’s kind of like how we just can’t stop ourselves from looking at a train wreck; like Jerry Springer—no matter how bad your life is, theirs is worse,” Cronk said.

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