To watch or not to watch? THAT is the question!

I’m sure if Shakespeare had to read one of his most famous lines in the history of English Literature so bastardised, he’d be rolling in his grave, poor soul! Joking apart though, many have mixed feelings about whether or not watching reality T.V. shows should be something to deny or at the very most, embarrassingly admit to.

Undeniably superficial in premise, I think such shows are just a form of relaxation, where your brain can quite literally switch off, because let’s be honest, they certainly don’t offer much in the intellectually stimulating department.

Admittedly, when I’m not in the mood to do anything constructive or mentally strenuous, and feel like being a couch potato for an hour or so, I do watch some of these shows. Usually it’s a Saturday or Sunday morning where I don’t have anything particularly better to do. Better yet, or more precisely, to assuage my guilt, I sometimes watch them before preparing to do something far better. That way, I don’t feel so bad because I manage to convince myself I’m about to make better use of myself. ‘I’ll only watch it while sipping on this cuppa or munching on this bowl of cereal before heading out, because there’s nothing that tickles my fancy on Discovery or National Geographic,’ I’d think to myself. Quite simply, reality T.V. is a guilty pleasure that I usually only like to divulge to those who might share my love-hate relationship towards these shows.

The reason I use the term ‘love-hate’ is because it is just that. It’s like when you devour that 50g bar of chocolate, and feel like a pig moments after. You love the taste and the feeling while eating it, but you hate yourself for giving in to your cravings. There’s always a part of me who loves to see superficial people moan about their supposed first world problems, such as breaking a nail or not finding the latest Birkin bag in stock.



So why even waste time watching these programmes that are the epitome of shallowness? Well, for starters, they’re a break from the real life – the actual drama and stress. I swear, I think these people are absolutely immune to what’s actually going on in the world to be so preoccupied in their petty, insignificant problems. It’s as though they’re living in their own little world in which the worst problem to ever befall them is one where they don’t get what they want instantaneously, or because their make up artist or personal chef didn’t pander to their unrealistic, extravagant expectations. On to the ‘hate’ part of the relationship – well, as much as it entertains me to see these moaning bird brains, it equally irks me to see them whine over such trivial things.

At the end of the day, if your biggest problems in life include flying business class or deciding which items to order your chef to concoct for you, you seriously need to put your priorities in check or look up the definition of the word ‘problem’ – because it sure as hell doesn’t have such situations as practical examples! So for this reason, there’s really only a limited dose ‘reality’ T.V. I can take on a weekly basis.

We must acknowledge however, that the people who are making the show are doing just that – giving its viewers a show, and in actuality, they are certainly not the people they portray themselves on screen as they are in real life. Ultimately, what these shows have to offer is the entertainment factor one certainly won’t find in harrowing news bulletins of the latest terrorist attack, or disillusioning documentaries about global warming.

I’d like to think of them as somewhat of an escape from reality, mainly because the shows themselves are just a perception of it. And it is this very form of escapism that possibly allows people such as myself to be insulated from slightly more depressing realities – even if for a while, outside the opulent and luxurious lives of the rich and privileged. By being presented with this bubble of a supposedly ideal reality that might not (but probably doesn’t) exist, we can sit back and have a little break from what is really going on, and possibly for this reason, feel a little less guilty of giving in to such a guilty pleasure!


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