Candidly Elle

I'm just a girl in love with words and sentences.

The Downside of Reality Television

Gone are the days where we watched television to find a role to emulate based on talent. I miss the days when I couldn’t wait to get home after school on Friday for TGIF on ABC. Those shows were wholesome and very family oriented. Each show had love and laugher; my favorites were Full House, Step by Step and Family Matters. I lived for my weekends, because I they would consist of great television programing. Friday night would be the family shows followed by Saturday morning cartoons with a huge bowl of cereal. The best ones were The Smurfs, The Snorks, He-Man, Jem and the Holograms and my favorite Scooby Doo. I love Velma to this day! 

Courtesy of Pinterest

Courtesy of Pinterest

Reality television wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. We had the Real World and Road Rules challenges. The theme of those two shows were to invite people from all walks of life to each stay in a nice mansion for six months or drive around the country in a Winnebago and compete for clues. These show thrived due to the constant infighting that happened between characters with zero in common. As a Gen X’er I must admit that I was addicted to The Real World every season up until 1999. It was great television watching Tami Roman getting dragged across the floor by David in her panties. We had never seen anything like that or when Irene the cop moved out early because she had gotten married. It was interesting watching people act a complete fool on camera.


Fast forward 10-15 years and I can tell you that reality television has come along ways. Not for the better might I add. We now have Real Housewives in six cities. By the way I don’t consider you a housewife, if you aren’t or have never been married. Women who come together to fight and have catty arguments over stuff that’s really no importance. MTV and VH1 were two of the biggest music channels when I was growing up (aging myself!) Now they pride themselves on capitalizing on the spectacle of reality life with such shows like Teen Mom, Couples Therapy and Love and Hip Hop.

Real Housewives of ATL, Courtesy of

Real Housewives of ATL,
Courtesy of

As I watched the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion last night, I realized that television has reached an all time low. What should be a proud moment of six successful black women coming together for a good time ends with them ripping each other to shreds. As a black woman I don’t want that “angry black woman” titled that seems to elude these women. Also, I don’t think its fair that MTV capitalized on the young and naïve. You shouldn’t be rewarded with a television show just because you are Sixteen and pregnant. I don’t think that’s something to celebrate. We as a culture have twisted the values system of what’s important in life and it’s not fighting and screaming on television. The times have definitely changed. People will sell their souls for fifteen minutes of reality television fame. I often long for the days of carefree lifestyle this country use to have. Now, I believe we are all lost in materialism and fame.

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  1. So well said Elle and I agree. I miss the good old days of TV. I think the Real housewives shows and the sixteen and pregnant are not what we all want to see on TV. Great post! I miss my morning cartoons especially Scooby Doo. I loved Velma, Shaggy and Scooby!

    • Makes me want to grab a big bowl of cereal and watch the cartoon network!

  2. I agree 100%%%%%%%!!!!!! I HATE most reality TV!!! I say “most” because I do think there are some shows that actually do provide the world with some value…like cooking shows and some reality competition shows. I have a soft spot for Dancing with the Stars :) But most of these shows don’t capitalize on stupid drama. I hate that 16 and Pregnant glamorizes teen pregnancy. So sad…… I am a huge fan of sitcoms. And sadly, it seems they just keep getting cancelled. Very few survive these days :( But I am pretty happy that a few of the ones on ABC family have made it through. And the wednesday line up on regular ABC are good too. Those are my favs now :) Very reminiscent of TGIF :)

    • Hi Stephanie-
      Yes, I agree that there are many reality shows that I love! I am addicted to Dancing with the Stars as well and The Voice. Those shows you can essentially watch with anyone without the fear that someone will be hit or cursed out. I love all of Shondaland’s shows on ABC (I’m still in mourning over Mc Dreamy! :-) ) I found myself watching a lot of the older shows on NetFlex and Hulu. I’m not giving up on tv just yet!

  3. Well said! I don’t watch any of the “reality” shows, except maybe an occasional Dual Survival, at least you learn something there.

    • I just think the majority of them a crap and lack morality. Those “Real Housewives” irk me something terrible! :-)

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