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Why are reality TV shows so popular?

Post Author Take1 / February 25th 2014


We’re proud of our service at Take 1, over the years we have transcribed a number of well-known TV shows. Some of them you might have heard of, they’re popular reality TV shows like Made in Chelsea and Come Dine with Me for example. Most of the team are happy to admit reality TV is their ‘guilty pleasure’, it’s the type of TV you know you shouldn’t be watching but you just help it because it’s THAT good. Why does the nation watch so much reality TV though? We think we’ve come up with the answers.

It’s easy watching – One reason the vast majority of us tune in to watch reality TV shows is due to the format of the programmes. They’re designed to be easy to watch, you can just ‘dip’ into them when you want and zone out when you like. Reality shows aren’t testing and they won’t tax your brain too much, they’re fun, simple by nature and good for tea in front of the telly.

It’s compelling to watch – Some reality TV shows are totally compelling, take The X Factor, I’m a Celebrity or Britain’s Got Talent for example. They hook you in, you get to know the people that take part and you can’t wait to see the next episode.

It makes you feel good – Reality TV shows have a way of making you feel happy. Take SuBo winning Britain’s Got Talent as an example. Nobody gave her a chance when she first stepped out onto the stage, the audience was tittering, Simon Cowell looked baffled and everyone expected her to fail. When she started singing though it was a different story, it was one of those moments in life that you never forget and it gave you a good feeling inside.

It makes you cringe – There’s something macabre about reality TV shows too. Some shows are classed as car-crash telly, you don’t really want to watch them but the curiosity gets the better of you. Embarrassing Bodies is a classic example. Watch that if you dare!

It gets you chatting! Reality TV shows unite the nation, people can’t stop talking about them. Facebook and Twitter go into overdrive when The X Factor is on, you discuss it at work, with the family and with your mates when you go out for drink.

We’ve transcribed a number of reality TV shows at Take 1 and we have to admit, we’ve got a bit of a soft spot for them in our hearts.



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