As millennials, we tend to reminisce about the golden days of the early 2000’s when things were simple; more authentic, less digital.
The music we loved back then still makes a more than occasional appearance on our Itunes playlist and the TV shows we couldn’t get enough of are listed under the “continue watching” section on Netflix or Hulu…or Youtube. Especially when it comes to reality TV.
You can’t talk about the early 2000’s without mentioning the entertainment storm that was Reality Television. The programming genre came to prominence in the late 90’s, but if you ask most TV lovers, it had it reached its peak and was in its prime in the early 2000’s.
It’s only natural that over the years everything changes, from the fashion trends to the latest gadgets. But for most of us, we watched the quality of our once beloved ‘reality tv’ decline. Even if you love the ‘Love & Hip Hop’s and the Keeping Up With The Kardashians’, there’s no denying that the caliber of their content is different from the ‘ANTM’s and ‘Making Da Band’s of television.
If you check out today’s top programming, reality shows aren’t even cracking the top 10. According to a 2018 New York Times article:
“Viewership for entertainment programming on the broadcast networks continues to fall as audiences flock to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. As for the shows themselves, medical dramas have made a comeback, reboots and reality shows have lost some of their luster.”
There are several variables at play when determining whether reality tv has finally fallen off.
Has the quality actually diminished?
Reality TV was so new in the late 90’s that there was no blueprint; no rules. By time the early 2000’s came, the shows started to have more of an objective; but still, no rules. The emotional breakdowns were real. The punishments were real. The fights were real.
Pretty much every story line from today’s shows seem scripted.
Have people just moved on to the scripted series trend?
When popular shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta and KUWTK start to decline in ratings, you know there must be a shift in the atmosphere — and the resurgence of scripted series may be just that.
New York Times: “Growth in the scripted television categories offset the loss in reality television production, with drama production leaping 23.9 percent year-over- year to 1,187 SDs, sitcom activity rising 168 percent to 745 SDs, digital web- based television production climbing 25.6 percent to 378.”
Are we as a generation just maturing and over the drama?
There’s enough real life drama we’re dealing with now that reality tv sometimes starts to feel like an extra emotional weight. Sure, we all love drama sometimes — especially other peoples —, but we also need to fill our minds, hearts and spirits with things that makes us feel good. Make us feel lighter and happier. Which is probably another reason why we revert back to our favorite old reality tv shows. The nostalgia aspect. Plus, fake and imagined drama is much better for the soul than real drama anyday.
What are your thoughts?