Reality tv: guilty pleasure or trash?

In college, times get stressful, days are long and information is intense. At the end of a long day many of us just want to go home, put our feet up and watch something that isn’t going to require too much brain power. Netflix and DVD boxsets are popular choices amongst many who don’t have a television and are also cost effective ways to get your TV fix. However, for those of us lucky enough to have either cable, a few channels, or indeed a TV – the choices of junk TV are endless.

While soaps are popular, and many have comic relief, the themes and issues dealt in them can be a little heavy after a college day. A perfect example is Hollyoaks, which up until some years ago, was the token ‘teenage soap’. Soaps aside, there is some proper light relief in the form of reality TV. Despite the term ‘reality’, it provides humour, entertainment and gets people talking. At the end of the day who doesn’t love wondering if that was yer man from Tallafornia that you shifted in Coppers the other night?

I was on a reality show a few years ago. I made my way out to the Helix in DCU for the filming of a certain show called Take Me Out. I donned the makeup, the fake tan, the wedges, I smiled, I giggled and I was witty and amusing. I stood at my buzzer and I was a reality television show contestant. Going behind the scenes gave me an insight into shows like Take Me Out, and while I can’t say I’d be rushing to do another one again in a hurry, it gave me great insight into shows like it.

There’s been the X Factor, Tallafornia, The Voice of Ireland, Big Brother, Masterchef, America’s Next Top Model and the grand finale, Keeping up with the Kardashians. The list is endless. 

With regards the ‘celebrity’ shows, many struggle to see the point of it all. Why should we care what celebrities do? Yet who can deny that they don’t have a chuckle when they see someone eating creepy crawlies in the jungle. I know myself when I kick back, fluffy socks on, and see the trials and tribulations of Charlotte on Geordie Shore, it just relaxes me. Seeing something that is so far removed from your own life is one of the best ways to de-stress post college. Yes, it may be junk television, but to be honest we need to switch off at some point and if this comes in the form of some trashy TV, then so be it. I’ll take it.

We all have ways of relaxing after a long day in college, and after exercise or meditation, which are both two fantastic methods, some reality TV isn’t the worst possible option. Get your duvet, your spot on the couch and pop the kettle on. 

Photo: Al Ibrahim/ Flickr