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I can’t be the only one with this problem, right? – alyssa calbert

Reality TV, for me, is a real problem. I literally struggle to function when I miss one of my twelve weekly shows. Yes, I said TWELVE. Mondays are dedicated to Worst Cooks in America. My Tuesdays belong to Are You the One?. On Wednesdays I watch Survivor, The Real World, and American Idol. Thursday I watch the American Idol and Survivor result shows. Gold Rush is my only show that records on Friday. There is nothing good on TV on Saturdays, but Sunday is a busy day with Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Cutthroat Kitchen, and The Amazing Race. Thankfully I have a DVR. My DVR is a gift from God. It is like he opened cloudy gate of Heaven and handed me a perfectly sculpted silver-painted, plastic remote control while the angles belted out their best Rich Kids of Beverly Hills “I’m a Rich Bitch” theme song. Praise the Lord! Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, but in the reality television world that’s probably what it would look like. I would know, too, because clearly I am a reality television addict.

I know so much about the Kardashian sisters            that I would consider myself family. Well, except for the fact that they’re wealthy and well dressed, while I’m average on all levels. I try to not let that get in my way; we can still be friends. Unfortunately for me, and all the other cyber-stalkers out there it is a one-way friendship. Aside from the fact that I’m never going to go to a party of Usher’s mansion, my friendships with the reality television stars is not that bad. Why? It is so easy to end the relationship. Instead of having to let them down easy to keep from hurting feelings, I can just change the channel and watch something new.

Like, The Real Housewives of New Jersey were my girls for a long time, but when Teresa Giudice dove off the deep end, I knew that I had to break our special bond. I don’t mind a little bit of cattiness, but when tables get flipped (literally) I just have to back away. It was tough, much like breaking up with a boyfriend; I wanted to go back, and just see how they were holding up without me as a viewer, but restrained myself. Also, now that she was found guilty of doing whatever it was, I’m glad I left that toxic relationship.

There is a fine line between annoying and entertaining, and reality TV straddles it… and it is AWESOME! It is almost sad to think about how fake it all is, though. Think about it, why on The Real World are the housemates always super sexy and like to party? Because the producers hand select each one of them. They choose people that they know will cause drama and people that will make fools of themselves on national television. Yes, they are real people. No, that is not real life. Sorry I have a job, classes and responsibilities that don’t allow me to do whatever I want in a big, iconic city for three months. The only difference between reality TV and movies are reality shows are not scripted, and those that are are not flawless performances that could lead to an Oscar nomination. The stories are all the same. It has to do with situations. Some are written; others are set up intentionally.

I like to compare these situations to people watching. It’s like reality TV, but without the camera crew. I people watch out of pure curiosity. I always want to know how other people react in situations, how they talk, and their thought process. I want to know it all. The longer I watch someone, the more I notice what they like and dislike all based on body langue. I can tell if they’re tired or angry. Reality TV is people watching. I watch these shows to learn more about other lifestyles. I am Alyssa Johnson. I am from a small town in Kansas. I have a sister, parents and dog. Without TV, I would have lived a more sheltered life than I already did.

So yes, reality TV may be slightly skewed, but I don’t care. Compared to my life, these shows are so much better. The situations that are set up by producers would never happen to me. I’m not complaining, but I don’t mind watching it happen to other people. No, I do not want to live on an island for 39 days with a shitty bed made of bamboo and leaves. That sounds terrible. I’ll watch someone else do it. In fact, I will watch hundreds of people do it for all 20-something seasons. Nope, I am not a top-trained chef that desires to make a delicious appetizer out of spam, but I’ll watch someone do it. Reality TV is great for that very reason. Why the hell would I want to attempt to do anything crazy when I have the power of reality TV to do that for me? It is like I’m living vicariously through all the contestants and cast members.

I could never be a reality TV star. (Minus The Amazing Race. Can’t say no to a free trip around the world!) I can barely remember put on shoes every morning. Not only that but I work, I am a full time student, I have several extracurricular activates that take up my time. I am not a trust fund baby, not am I famous, and I do not live in any iconic city with endless possibilities (only #shockernation). The truth is, reality TV is a way to escape the world I’m living in, and explore the other realms of living. These shows that I love are friendships that are easy to maintain plus dreamt up situations that equal pure entertainment in my hectic, regular-girl life. Besides, who needs real friends when I have reality TV shows and my DVR?