Bringing life to the screen

Gigi Gordon, Sports editor

Reality TV lovers grip the edge of their seats as they await the big news:  Who will be voted off the show? Dramatic music plays and the exciting announcement is about to come, but just like that, the episode ends. Now, viewers must wait another week to find out.

This feeling is common among reality TV viewers as they become invested in the lives of real people. Reality TV allows viewers to share the experiences and feelings of normal people while being entertained by the drama and tribulations they encounter.

There are two main types of reality TV shows: romantic and competitive. Romantic reality TV shows often consist of ten to 20 contestants who are looking for love or a new adventure. The contestants typically have interesting backstories that either caused them trouble in past relationships or gave them a reason to try a new dating method.

These romance shows bring drama, comedy, tragedy and mystery into an entertainment masterpiece. Watching couples form and break up in a matter of days draws the viewers in.

One of my favorite romantic reality TV shows is “Love Island” on CBS. “Love Island” is set in a remote villa. There is an equal number of male and female contestants who must ‘couple up,’ to avoid going home. But soon, new contestants arrive on the island and they have to fight in order to stay in a couple. Viewers get to vote on the winners who receive a prize of $50,000.

What makes “Love Island” a mustwatch show is the complicated and tension-filled relationships that the contestants form. The contestants living in a house together creates many love triangles and even squares form. The resolutions are always filled with drama and anger, making the viewer pick contestants to root for, ultimately giving them a stronger connection to the show.

While romantic reality TV shows are entertaining, I also enjoy competition shows. The main goal of these shows is to win whatever challenges contestants engage in. One of the most famous competition TV shows is “Survivor” on CBS. It has been on air for over 20 years and has gained a loyal viewership.

“Survivor” brings ‘castaways’ together on a deserted island to survive together in tribes. Each week, tribes compete in physical challenges and the losers have to go to the tribal council where they vote one member off of the tribe.

“Survivor” is unique as it combines strategy, wit, brawn and basic survival skills. It is difficult enough to survive on a deserted island with little food and resources, but adding competition into the mix makes it nearly impossible. It is a show where the viewers feel like they are on a journey with the contestants. Viewers feel the pain of the contestants when they lose a challenge or are starving.

There are many great reality TV shows on Netflix, Hulu and regular cable TV. What sets reality TV apart from other genres is that you get to watch real people in real time. The raw emotion viewers see on the screen is not something that can be produced by actors who rehearse scenes.

The boredom that one may experience from watching any TV show with a predictable plot is eliminated when watching reality TV. It allows viewers to truly connect with the people they are watching on the screen because they can empathize with them. This sense of empathy that reaches past the screen is what makes reality TV a unique experience everyone should get to enjoy.