Is Reality Tv Really Reality?


  Bravo TV is a channel in which most Americans who watch television in this day and age are familiar with. Its most popularly broadcasted shows include “The Real Housewives”, “Top Chef”, and “Vanderpump Rules”. All of these shows have one common theme: drama. In The Real Housewives,there is a cast for different cities such as Miami, New York, Atlanta, Orange County, and more. This show is one that consists of extraordinarily wealthy women and their families.  Most of the time they marry into their money and live in grand homes and a group of these women in the same situation are featured together as a group of friends.

    The most repetitive feature about all of these different groups of women is the fact that there is endless amounts of drama, whether interpersonal disagreements or family scandals.  But is this all made up for the camera? Did the producers add all of this just to increase the number of viewers? For example, across each city, there are numerous cases of infidelity, prison sentences, custody battles, as well as constant dramatic arguments between the wives.

     As someone who does not particularly enjoy the unnecessary, seemingly fake dramatic encounters between the women, I find the content to be all very similar when it comes to these events. This show in this case is exemplary when it comes to the world of plastic people (literally). The Real Housewives of Atlanta is probably the best example of all when it comes to the amount of arguments and fights between the women. In one episode the women are all tearing each other apart over something that is insignificant.

   There is one common thing that we all  want to know: is reality television scripted? It is something that I have always wondered whenever I see a show like The Real Housewives. The women all seem to have something traumatic in their past, a marriage problem, and money issues at some point during their time on the show. It makes you wonder if all of these events are completely scripted to gain more viewers or if they are authentic. An article by Fox News talks about it’s scripted parts, revealing, according to Vicki Gunvalson on the “Real Housewives of Orange County,”  that certain scenes on her hit Bravo series were planned ahead and faked for cameras. According to the texts, Gunvalson’s daughter’s wedding was scripted, not a spur-of-the-moment surprise captured by the    cameras.”

    An alternative opinion to these scripted accusations comes from Andy Cohen, the host of Bravo Tv’s “Watch What Happens Live.” He states his stance on this opinion here, “We cast very highly volatile, emotional, driven, opinionated women, and because of that, they go to town. And you sit down with them at the end of the season and they all have it out with each other. It’s really fun.”

    Something that I feel that completely goes against Cohen’s opinion is the fact that the women all seem to do extravagant things as a group as it if were planned for the cameras. Almost every single time without fail every single one of the housewives has gets into an argument or fight, or there is some sort of dramatic event. There are even allegations that some major events that have happened in the show may have been completely fabricated! This one allegation shown here is shocking: “Vicki Gunvalson’s ex, Brooke Ayers, may have pulled off one of the biggest lies ever on reality TV. Ayers was introduced to “The Real Housewives of Orange County” fans in season 7 as Gunvalson’s love interest. The couple had a tumultuous, on-again, off-again relationship, but things got extra dramatic when they claimed he was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. The remainder of the season revolved around whether or not Ayers was truly sick, with some housewives not believing it.”


   I found that reading this really allowed me to see into the reality of these shows and their events and that almost nothing on these shows is real life. It makes you wonder if any of these shows or cast were ever real things at all! It is so eye-opening and interesting to see that not everything you see on tv can be claimed to be true at all. real-houswives

8 thoughts on “Is Reality Tv Really Reality?

  1. I totally agree with what you have said and shared about reality tv. The hard truth about it is that it’s staged. By seeing the video of the women from Real Housewives shows that the show runners are always looking for reasons to have drama on the show and for others to watch. Reality tv can be relaxing but it is also very tiresome, there is a fine line. The thing about reality tv is, the life stories are real but what happens on the show is not. You mentioned a lot about women on reality tv, and I think a lot of times reality tv shows tend to pick on women especially knowing there will be more drama. By Nora Whouley


  2. Derek Lawton- I completely agree I am not the biggest fan of reality TV as well. These shows I will admit do a good job drawing viewers in because of the drama. I have been one to watch an episode or two but still I am against reality TV. I think it shows a falsification of normal American life. It makes young kids think that doing or saying these things is normal. I think they could make shows that are just as popular as the “Real Housewives” without making up stories or dramatic situations. It may not be as interesting but people will respect it more. There are so many reality tv shows out today I just think it is getting out of hand. For example, the girl from Jerry Springer who is known for saying “catch me outside how bout that” just got her own reality television show. For someone that is uneducated and trashy and now making a great deal of money it blows my mind. I think it is somewhat said as well that Americans actually enjoy watching shows like these. Overall, reality television definitely does a good job getting viewers but is not something that interests me.


  3. I’ve also always wondered if reality tv was scripted or not because I am if it wasn’t there would be a lot of edited. I feel like you’d have to script all these fights and all these different scenarios to find ways to make the life of these people interesting. If the show is about following people day by day there has to be something that catches the audiences attention to tune in like click bait on youtube. – Angelica Bitto


    1. When I do watch television, the channel I usually watch is Bravo. I am such a sucker for any of the “Real Housewives” or “Vanderpump Rules.” The entertainment these individuals bring to the table is so outrageous I cant stop watching. Though I completely see your side of not loving these dramatic fake scenarios with even more dramatic fake people, these people make me feel less insane and make me realize I have a good life! I do think that some of the scenes are staged and set up but I do believe that there is a nugget of truth especially at the Reunion specials, which are my absolute favorite. I found it very interesting that on Bravo, most of the cast members on these shows are women and I honestly do not always feel that these women represent women in general well and in a good light. However, these women are doing something right because they are drawing in millions and millions of viewers! – Alexa DiFilippo


  4. You make a very interesting point regarding reality TV. I’ve actually been wondering the same thing about CBS’s The Amazing Race. While it is a very fun and engaging show to watch, I’ve had a few questions about it. Some parts might feel scripted, for example, at the very beginning of each episode, when the show’s host Phil Keoghan, gives recaps about previous episodes, he narrates details and mishaps about what happened in the previous episode, and we are left to ask ourselves how he knew about those things when he was just waiting for the other contestants at the Pit Stop. And when he starts off every episode, he mentions the words “in a race around the world” to start the beginning of a new leg, and he announces what the next clue is and how to obtain the next clue.

    Another question I keep asking myself is that there are certain times where the last remaining contestants are unable to finish a task, and he walks up to them at the site of the task to tell them that they are eliminated from the Race. We are unsure of how he was able to get there so quickly. He would also need to carefully plan out where to place the clues, pit stops, and finish line, so that would give away the fact that the show might be scripted. And we are also unsure of how the contestants are being filmed doing their tasks, and how they are able to contact certain people around the world to supervise the tasks and hand the contestants their next clues.

    So in a way, you are right. Reality TV is not always reality. Some parts of it are real, but other parts feel completely scripted. The Real Housewives is a great example of this, as is The Amazing Race. We continue asking ourselves this moving forward, and we are unsure if Reality TV will ever portray an actual real-life situation or live broadcast.

    -David McInerney


  5. Sarah Seero- I really enjoyed this article, you use concrete examples like the cancer story line, and i like how you compare the different cities by saying atlanta seems to have more fights and mentioning how all the other cities have similar/ the same elements in their shows i think is also another important point. I too definatley see elements of fabrication on the show real housewives, i like how you mention that “without fail” theres always some sort of a problem or a lavish vacation that seems like its planned for the cameras, it makes me wonder if they tape tons of footage and only end up editing in the crazy moments to gain ratings or they script some of the fights or a little bit of both. then again the housewives show would probably be boring and not gain as good ratings without those fabricated situations. there have been other shows criticised in the past for scripting reality and to be honest probably all reality shows are edited or fabricated or scripted in some way to make sure that there are good enough events to keep viewers coming back and wanting more. real housewives without the fights or the vacations is just…well there would probably be no show. thanks for a great read.


  6. After reading this blog I have to say I completely agree with what you said about reality television not always reality. Shows like “Real Housewives” like you mentioned almost feel scripted in a way. You’re set to believe that what you’re seeing is reality when it kind of isn’t. Even shows like “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” feel very scripted. It’s like you’re not even watching reality but almost a scripted television series. I’m not really sure when reality television will ever be reality but it seems that it’s scripted so that it will generate more money because people don’t actually want to see people’s lives they go for the drama as you mentioned in your blog. I’m not entirely sure we’ll ever see the day when reality television will be reality.

    – Mathew Galvao


  7. In my opinion Reality television shows are fake reality because some of the shows you can tell are staged however other reality television shows you cannot tell they are staged. The reality television shows that you can tell are staged are staged are shows like the Today Show and Good Morning America. However shows like the Bachelor are clearly faked because the people are told how to act and how react to certain situation that they are about to be put into. Another way that I believe Reality television is not reality is because of the fact that the audience is also told how to react to the situation on set. So in Closing Reality television is not Reality it should be called fake television. -Jack


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