Reality TV – Love It Or Hate It

Far from conveying a healthy dose of reality – reality television has become an easy medium to fill empty timeslots with minimal creativity and effort. It has also become quite profitable for franchise series which can easily be adapted to local audiences. However, local version spinoffs don’t stop there – The Biggest Loser, a weight loss TV program even has spin offs on some of their local versions, such as The Biggest Loser Teens. Similarly, The Voice has attempted to fill the off-season void by recording The Voice: Kids in many places around the world.

It seems every profession and skill has its own reality TV program, like Cooking (MasterChef), Baking (Great British Bake Off), Dancing (Dancing with the Stars & So You Think You Can Dance), Singing (The Voice & Idol), Building (The Block), Modelling (Project Runaway & Next Top Model), Business (The Apprentice), Fishing (Deadliest Catch), Truck Driving (Ice Road Truckers), Life Guards (Bondi Rescue), Pawn Shop Brokers (Pawn Stars), Health Care (Embarrassing Bodies) and Policing (COPS).

Then there are more genres that extend to Infidelity (Cheaters), Bargain/Auction Hunting (Auction Hunters), Repossession (Operation Repo), Tattoos (Miami Ink), Makeovers (Extreme Makeover), Dating (The Bachelor), Teen Parenting (Teen Mom), Pest Control (Verminators) and Surviving (Doomsday Peppers & Man vs. Wild). The list is endless. However, the demise of quality reality television programming began when “documentary-style” shows aired. These are shows that are popular on MTV and feature a close knit group of socialites interacting in their everyday life (Real Housewives, Made in Chelsea and Geordie /Jersey Shore among others).

The compelling attraction of reality television hasn’t escaped Asia or the rest of the world. South Korea is a key culprit in the East with equally successful series such as Dad! Where Are We Going?, Running Man and We Got Married. However, on the bright side a recently debuted show Back To My Face is hoping to challenge South Korea’s love affair with plastic surgery, by focusing on people who want to reverse the effects of their excessive habit. Therefore, the question remains – has television been saturated with reality television programs or will the genre continue to thrive? Will reality TV survive by spinning off more varieties of the same show or are we about to be inundated with a new format which will once again be franchised around the world to keep us happy?

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32 Comments

  1. I love Korean’s drama very much !Do you know why?Because I think the boys in the drama are very handsome and the girls in the drama is beautiful!Now my favourite drama is Strong Woman Do Bong-soon!It is very funny and romantic!It is about a woman call Do Bong-soon,she is very strong,she can pusn the car,she can fights with many people,if the people get hurt,they need 64 weeks to get well!Then one time, a man saw her fight with people and the people were all get hurt,so the man wants to hire the girl to do his bodyguard ! but the girl doesn’t know that he is work in the company call Ainsoft and he is the boss of this company!He is name is An Min-he!Then they work together !One day,the boy thought that he love the girl ,but the girl was frighting with other people and a man was holding a knife ,at that time the boy help the girl to block the knife,so that day they become couple!A man call Kim Chang-yan wants to kill Do Bong-soon because she damage his plan.The man loves girl very much and he wants to has seven bride and one is Do Bong-soon’s friend so Do Bong-soon wants to damage his plan!Ofcause at last the man call Kim Chang-yan was caught by Do Bong-soon , his boy friend and Do Bong-soon’s friend call Yin Gu-tou!At last Do Bong-soon married with An Min-he and have two little baby at the end!!
    I love this drama very much,it is very romantic and funny!

  2. I love reality show a lot because it is so funny and it is very meaningful.The reality will let the actors or actresses to try to do some challenges,so it can let the audience know the meaning of the reality show.Also we can know the characteristic of the actors and actresses.Therefore, I think reality show is a very meaningful and nice show for all the audience.

  3. I love watching reality TV especially is the Korean’s one. I’ve watched many reality TV in Taiwan, China, America, Japan and Korea. Korea’s reality TV is the funniest I think. My favourite reality TV is The Code from JTBC and Muhan Dojo from MBC. The Code is a new type of reality TV that have some gameplay for the guests to show the cleverness and humanity. Although the questions sometimes are really too difficult for me to understand, the interaction and the process they solve the problem and win the game is very interesting. And Muhan Dojo is a famous reality TV started from 2005. They have regular hosts and they do lots of new tasks and games every week like hold concerts with professional singers and promoting the Korea culture. It’s a really fun programme that i recommend you to watch.

  4. I love reality TV shows like American’s Got Talent and Running Man because I think they are very interesting.
    American’s Got Talent is about talented people performing and showing off their talents. There are many competitors and they all have amazing talents. The performers are selected so the show will never be boring. Running Man is about actors or singers playing games. It is very humorous and amusing.
    I think the biggest difference between reality TV shows and other TV shows is that other TV shows can be edited while reality TV shows cannot. Although the programme in the show are seriously designed, there is no take-two. There will be many things unexpected during the shows and all these things will be included in the show. It makes the reality TV shows realistic.

  5. I love to watch the TV but sometimes I hate it .It sometimes talks about the social or government.However ,Running Man is about someone who plays the games and the game is really exciting.I love watching Running Man and I enjoy watching it with my family.And I sometimes play the games of Running Man with my friends in the camp . Totally agree that Running Man is great.

  6. I love to watch TV but some are very boring.I love to watch running man because the presides are very funny.Some games I always play with my friend and my family. My favorite preside is Song Ji-hyo.Why ?It is because she is generous to her teammates.I watch it on myTV because I am not free on Saturday and Sunday.

  7. I think some of the reality TV show I really hate. But I think running man is a quite good reality TV show. Running man is a TV show that play games and those games is exciting and adventurous. I really like it. I will watch it on every Sunday.
    And how about you? Do you like reality TV show or running man?

  8. i always see a lot of advertisement about reality show from TV,for example Running man.it is a famous reality show over the world.i love this show very much because the show is very funny and hilarious.it gives me lots of entertainment! I think reality show illustrates the real events and exploration.there is no any counterfeit in the reality show.However the TV program’s character can’t express their feelings in the program.They follow the dialogue absolutely.However reality show won’t pretend to be happy,angry and excited.Their real emotions can make burst into shouts of laughter and down in the mouth!i get support and relaxing after watching a amusing reality show. This is the main reason that i love watching reality show! I hope that there will be more reality show in the future.”REALITY SHOW IS THE BEST OF THE BEST!”

  9. Many teenagers loves watching Reality TV Shows now.I love watching too. ‘Running Man’ is the most popular reality TV show now because its really funny and its relax.I can know more about the menbers such as their character or their real life.I watch ‘Running Man’ once a week.It can make me laugh and relax.I love Song Ji Hyo most because she is very beautiful and clever.She always help others.Song Ji Hyo and Gary is ‘Monday Couple’ in ‘Running Man’.i love them so much.i hope there will be more reality TV shows to watch.I enjoy watching reality TV shows.

  10. There are many reality TV show. However the one i love most is called ‘Running Man’. Watching Running Man makes me relax and every time i watch it makes me laugh a lot. Running Man is a Korea reality show but since its very popular in Korea and it becomes translate to many language such as Catonese and Putonghra. In this show, I love Song Ji Hyo most. Besides she is beautiful, she is clever and always do something makes others laugh. Song Ji Hyo and Gary is a couple in Running Man and i love them so much

  11. First of all i really enjoy watching reality TV.For me that’s a activity that can make me relax and enjoy .In all reality TV,i love Running Man the most ,it’s so funny and i really enjoy watching it .When i watch this show ,i always laugh and it’s a way to let me relax.Among all the members i love Yu Jae Seok and Song Jie Hyo the most.Yu Jae Seok is so funny and clever.Even though he is a bit ugly but i still really like him.Song Jie Hyo is also a really good member.She is beautiful and clever.She can always solve the problems and missions succesfully
    i think reality TV is the best activity and choice for relaxing and entertainment.

  12. I really enjoy watching TV.I always learn many when I watching tv and it can make me relaxe.For example,Running Man is very funny.It can make me laugh loudly.When I watch it ,it let me forget all the problem.In Running Man,I think Gary is the l I think Gary is the best. Although he is not clever, he will try his best . And he Always make funny jokes. It will make me laugh loudly and it makes me forget all my problem. Besides, I think Song-Jie-Hyo also very good. She is very clever.She always Complete the mission easily. She is beautiful too. Therefore, she has many fans.
    Reality TV is very interesting . I like watching it with my family . It helps us to promote our relationship. It is a really good activity!

  13. I like reality TV very much . It can take stress away from us.When I feel depressed , I usually watch Korean
    reality shows . IT helps me loose stress . Especially Running man ,it is so funny . I like Song Ji Hyo the most . She is not only beautiful,she is also very smart and active.People usually call her the king card. Therefore, I think watching reality TV is a good choice for entertainment.

  14. I love reality TV, because they are really interesting and exciting. My favourite ones are America’s Got Talent, Face Off, America’s next top model… I think reality TVs are both beneficial to the TV company and people on TV because people who join these reality tv shows can not only get experience and might even win the prize of that show. Take America’s next top model as an example. A famous supermodel, Tyra Banks created this show to find hidden models throughout America. Contestants receives a challenge and a photo shoot every week and it helps the constestants build experiences as well as confidence. The final winner will have understood a lot more about the modeling industry and will be more experienced in his or her future modeling career. The people who go on TV actually benefit more than the TV company itself. People can notice these talents on tV and managers might find these talents and help them promote their talents. As more and more people are falling in love with reality tv shows, the TV company can also earn a lot from these shows. So, ain’t reality TV shows a win-win program for all of us?

  15. I have watched the reality TV and I like Running Man very much because I think it is really funny to see the people play the game.I think watching the reality TV is a good choice for entertainment.

  16. Watching reality TV can really give me a great sense of excitement. Especial my favourite one – Running Man .
    It is a Korean TV show. The members are required to finish a mission at each episode. It lasts about an hour.
    There is one episode that I am touched by. The members need to find materials and cross the river. I was touched by their perseverance . I don’t think I could finish the mission like them.
    Also Running Man not only stay in Korea but all over the world! I can learn different landmarks. I realise the Korean government pay a lot to support entertainment mass media. It promote itself and lots of visitors come to Korean. Thinking back to Hong Kong, would the Hong Kong government makes TV show using the Victory Habour? It is impossible! If the government willing to promote itself and develope the economy, the government can have a TV show like to Running Man.
    I am looking forward to Hong Kong’s own reality TV.

  17. I usually watch tv shows, but sometimes I do like watching reality shows since they’re not planned or staged and spontaneous and hilarious things would happen..
    One of my all time favourite Materchef, season 5 is currently my favourite season. I like watching the adults Masterchef more than the Junior one, because it seems much more competitive and
    exciting to me. The harsh comments from the judges sometimes also makes me laugh. Gordon is my favourite judge. I liike him because he makes really funny comments. At first he may seems like he’s complimenting you, but then the next sentence shows that he actually doesn’t like your dish . It’s funny. Just watch the video and you’ll understand!

  18. I usually watch tv shows, but sometimes I do like watching reality shows since they’re not planned or staged and spontaneous and hilarious things would happen..
    One of my all time favourite Materchef, season 5 is currently my favourite season. I like watching the adults Masterchef more than the Junior one, because it seems much more competitive and exciting to me. The harsh comments from the judges sometimes also makes me laugh. Gordon is my favourite judge. I liike him because he makes really funny comments. At first he may seems like he’s complimenting you, but then the next sentence shows that he actually doesn’t like your dish . It’s funny. Just watch the video and you’ll understand!

  19. I love watching reality television. But seldom the Korean one, like Running Man. I usually watch the Master Chef. It is a competition that for the amateur chef to have a chance to be a chef if they win the competition and win a lot of money maybe for them to open a own restaurant. The program is really interesting. There are many different challenges and tests. They need to the dishes fast, delicious, attracting and like head chefs of Michelin starred restaurants.

    But sometimes I think it is funny that the 3 harsh judges punish the participants and throw away their dishes into the rubbish bin and look like want to vomit. I know the judges are very mean but what they had said are really right and can make the participants improve in next time and cook better and better. Although, they seems like not kind but they will also appreciate the participants the did a goo job and pay effort. Therefore, I think they are very fair and good chef.

    Watching this kind of reality television is entertaining and relaxing. So watching them after doing my own work is really joyful. 🙂

  20. I have always been a great fan of reality shows and I believe that this genre continue to thrive.
    Firstly, the professional skills shown in these TV shows, such as singing, cooking, are fascinating. You can see ordinary participants shine their potentials through various challenges and become successful in their dream career, for example, One Direction is born from the X-factor show, and the audience all witnessed their road to fame starting off as normal teenagers like us, and feel their ups and downs throughout the whole process.
    Secondly, celebrities’ down-to-earth sides are disclosed in these shows. Fans can peek into their secret daily lives and feel the gap with their idols are smaller. Also, audience tend to believe that the lives of celebrities displayed are real, though they often contain rehearsed events and exaggerated emotions, it gives them entertainment and a personal touch of their idols.
    However, I do not agree that the TV industry is saturated with reality television programs, or is forming such a trend; even most people have interests towards this genre of shows. TV is a mass media for everyone; broadcasters should include different genres of shows to cover the tastes of the public. Furthermore, shows with different purposes, such as educational and artistic purposes, not only for entertainment, are shown on TV to inculcate different knowledge into the public.
    As a fan of reality shows, I am looking forward to having more varieties of this type of show, especially products from South Korea and China. I am also anticipating for another wave of a new format of TV show to sweep the world and put everyone in shock.

  21. I have watched a few series of reality shows produced by different countries and I noticed that there are differences among them.

    For Korean programmes, audiences are attracted by the hosts such as M.C.of Running Man. The M.C. had even held fans meetings all over the world. It is interesting that the popularity of M.C. has grown because of the great success of the programme.

    For American or British shows, people are rather interested in the amusing performances. Such as the American’s Got Talent. Many contestants have become famous performers. Some of them have even published CDs and have become professional singers after joining the show.

    And after all, I think the key to success for reality shows is creativity. People are looking for new things that they have never heard of and something related to them. If the topic is irrelevant to their daily lives, audience may not feel interested.

    However, there are also disadvantages of reality shows. The documentary shows are hot recently. The privacy of the participants has aroused the public concern. The camera crew follows the participants everywhere. Some of the shows even install CCTV at the participants’ homes in order to observe their daily lives. Anyway, I think the participants have the responsibility to protect their rights and to consider the contract terms carefully before casting.

    I think the trend of reality shows is still upwards. I’m looking forward to see more great shows.

  22. Wow, by the comments on this post Running man is by far the most popular. Do you think reality television is extremely popular in Hong Kong due to the quality of drama/soap programs?

  23. So,first.Hi guys~

    I have watched so many reality TV shows,such as,the Voice,X Factor,Britain’s Got Talent(also American),Master Chief(also Junior) and of course the Running Man.

    Firstly,I like watching reality shows more than the plays of some famous actors because I enjoy watching people’s first reflection so much.For example,you are watching a music video of your favourite singer and I am sure that you will search for the bloopers or behind the scenes of that afterwards.Because you really want to know what the singer will do or response at the first time of some mistakes or ‘NG’.And the reality shows can show that things for you and me.

    Secondly,why I like watching reality shows because I think that people will not think that the people on the screen are fake and they are just being the ways of themselves.The situation of reality show is a bit similar with the Youtube videos.Both of them are not perfectly filmed,but both of them are real and normal along with our daily life so that there are many personal feelings and relationship between the participants and the Youtubers in the shows or videos.And sometimes the audience will cry because of the participants who are leaving the contest or doing something that move their hearts.

    Finally,the reason of why I like watching reality shows is that the things happen in the show can easily bring the audience in and the incident will not happen in a predicted way.In fact,I quite enjoy watching the unpredictable things to see what will the participants do to try to fix the situation.

    To sum up,I love watching reality shows,so hope you guys can enjoy them too.Bye~

  24. I always watch Korean reality show and my favorite is Running Man.It is about the competition that around the regular members and the guests.After finishing the tasks , the winner can get something that help them to with the game such as a clue or an extra life.At last,they with have a final task and the famous one is tearing the name tags.
    I think why Running Man can be so popular and success is because all the personality of the members are real.
    -MC Yoo Jae-suk
    -Muscular Kim Jong-kook SPARTA
    -Monday couple Song Ji-hyo and Kang Gary
    -The weakest man Ji Suk-jin
    -The traitor Lee Kwang-soo Kangaroo
    -Naughty and childish Haha

    They never try to pretend anyone famous in the world and they never complain about how the games are stupid or difficult .They have run for four years and hope to bring happiness to us.

    Among the regular members , my favorite one is Kim Jong-kook.It is because he is very muscular and it is what all the boys dream for.Also ,he is very GENTLEMAN.He seldom tears the girls name tags and every time when his partner is a girl,he tries his very best to protest her in all the games .Furthermore,he sings extremely well!!! ❤

    Although some people may say their Kim Jong-kook is very impolite to the guests since he sometimes requires them to do well in all he games.But at my point of view,he does so is because he wants to bring happiness to us .Also,one of the member in Running Man which always try to use ruse to out him , Lee Kwang-soo said Kim Jong-kook is very nice in daily lives and always reminds him.This shows Kim Jong-kook is a friendly person but no a rude man.

    Anyway,I love Running Man forever.Its the best reality show I have seen<3

    Running Man ! FIGHTING~~

  25. I always watch Korean reality show when I am free because I think the shows are very amusing.Among of them,I love The Return of Superman most. It is about idols’ life with their own children. The children are really lovely ,especially DaeHan,MinKok and ManSae.They played with each other all the time and when their dad is angry ,they will look him in a cute way. Among them,I love DaeHan most!DaeHan is the eldest among these three children and he will help his dad when the other two are crying or naughty.Also,he is the bravest one.He can have an injection without crying and he was only two!Try to watch more Korean reality show and you may find some fun in it!

  26. I love the reality show of Korea.My favorite one is Running Man.It is very famous in the world.I love it because of the humorous members.There are 7 members in this show and I love Kim Jong-kook.It is because he is very muscular.I hope i can be that strong one day.

  27. I am a huge fan of Running Man(Korean reality show).It is a famous TV show in Korea.The MCs and guests need to complete missons in a landmark and tears the name tags of other survivors in order to win the game.
    There are 7 MCs in total.Each MC has different characteristic(Leader Yoon Jae-suk,Race Starter Ji Suk-jin,Sparta Kim Jong-kook,Peaceful Gary,Childish Haha,Ace Song Ji-hyo,Traitor Lee Kwang-soo etc.).
    My favourite member is Kang Gary.He is the most gullible but honest member.Although he is quite clueless,he is known as”Sudden Commander”.During race missions,he sometimes gives people surprises and finally win the races.Throughout the series,he has been involved in the loveline with Song Ji-hyo and he always help his “girlfriend” surreptitiously.I think they were the highlight in RM.
    Each member is special and canot be replaced.They really put many effort on it.They still don’t give up when they face challeges—which is the core spirit of Running Man.

  28. I know there are many different reality shows.However,I have only watch the one that was called Running Man because this reality show is different from others.It is much more interesting and attracting as they create new games and rules of them in each episodes.Also,they may invites some other idols to join.Nowaday,it is common to see friends or classmates play the game,taking away the name tag of each others,which is the most important part in Running Man.
    In my opinion,the most sucessful part of Running Man that makes it become famous,is that it can really provide us fun and entertainments.For me,I would perfer spending time on watching this reality show when I have leisure time or during holiday.

  29. Actually I seldom watch reality shows because i am not very interested in reality shows and i won’t watch all the episodes but if there are my favourite idols performing in the shows, then i will watch them. I think reality shows is more lively and realistic than dramas. The idols will show their real personality instead of make up things. From the shows, we can know what the stars perform under the stage.
    I think the reality shows in south korea in really successful.They can catch the attention of the audience. My favourite reality show is We got married and Running man. We got married records a star couple’s dairy life. Among the life of the couple, we can learn how to cooperate with one another. Running man talks about the idols how to solve the tasks. We can hear a lot of jokes from the MC and the idols.
    I think the reality shows can entertain us tn our leisure time. The jokes in the shows can make you laugh. The tasks and tricks are really fun.
    However, i also think the reality shows should not be so boring. If all the tasks are always the same, the audience will not love it anymore. Also, it will not be exciting, all the tasks can be solved easily.

  30. I mainly watch Korean reality show, and my favourite one is Running Man. I know that it is very popular all over the world, and in my opinion, the reason is it is very funny and interesting while spooky and exciting in some episodes.
    Each member of the show has different characters, such as Yoo Jae-suk introduced by Eric Lau (lkc). My favourite member of the show is Song Ji-hyo, because she is not like any normal girl in the perspective of the society, but brave and clever which gives her the chance to win many games in the show. Because of that, she wins much gold in the show and was given a nickname Kim Ji-hyo. She shows her real side to the audience of Running Man, including her amazing ability to sleep wherever she is, even on stacked layers of wooden blocks as high as seven metres.
    She and Gary, another member of Running Man, are set as a love line in the show, and the show is usually filmed on Monday, so they are called ‘Monday Couple’, I really like them as they cast a layer of pink to the show.
    The most popular and famous game among the ones in the show is tearing the name tag. You have to tear the name tag of others so that they could be out of the game. The person (or team) who survives till the last is the winner. Many fans of the show have played this game in their camps or activities. I hope that I may play it with my friends someday.
    I greatly recommend you to watch it, as it can entertain you by giving you laughter while you are watching it.

  31. I am i a fan of Running Man.Running Man is a game-variety show broadcast by SBS.It started racing on July11,2010.I think that it is pop in the world because it is interesting and also can introduce Korean culture.Taking the name tag is the most exciting part in Running Man.

    1. My favourite cast member is Yoo Jae-suk.His representative animal is grasshopper.He is called national MC as his good eloquence.He likes to find ‘lightspost’ to make jokes.

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