Why have reality shows become so popular? What makes us want to watch reality shows on TV? To begin with, we feel that we get to know the participants. We know their names from the beginning and gradually we learn more about them. We might even come to like some of them. Others, we might not like at all! Reality shows take us inside the lives of other people. Mostly, people wonder what it's like to be someone else. Experiencing other people's lives can be a great escape from our own.
Some people say this has a very healthy effect on society and it's a harmless and entertaining way of passing the time. Other people, however, are not in favour of reality TV. Critics say that it is not really entertainment at all. What could be entertaining about two people doing their laundry or preparing the evening meal? Who wants to watch that? Who wants to hear all of their secrets and gossip? Some social scientists even say that reality TV could have damaging effects on society.
What kinds of people take part in reality programmes? Well, since the participants may win a prize, they might be doing it for the money. There could be other reasons as well. For example, the participants on these shows become well known to the viewers. They may even become famous and find more work in TV after the reality show ends. Not only that, but some people may really like the attention of millions of eyes on them every day and night. Clearly, reality TV is not for shy people!
New reality shows appear all the time. They can take place on a farm, in an apartment or even on an island. Each time a new show begins, it seems to be even more daring than the previous one. What do you think the future holds for reality TV? Could the next show take place in your city, neighbourhood or school? Eventually, the day may come when we can all be part of reality TV!
Source: Adapted from article: “Reality Shows” by Chris Dufford.
Choose the best option (a, b, c or d) to answer the questions. The activity starts with an example (0).
0. What does the writer say about reality TV?
a. It is like ordinary television.
b. It is hard to watch.
c. It is certainly not like TV.
d. It shouldn't be shown on TV.
1. Reality TV programmes ...
a. show common people.
b. show actors in their daily lives.
c. are not shown regularly.
d. show our own reality.
2. What does “close-up” mean in this context?
a. A zoom-in of the camera.
b. An intimate view.
c. A photo of the face.
d. A photo of the body.
3. The writer thinks reality shows have become popular because ...
a. we learn the names of the participants.
b. viewers are curious about other people's lives.
c. we like to watch famous people.
d. they have a healthy effect on society.
4. In the second paragraph, in the sentence: “Others, we might not like at all”, what does “Others” refer to?
a. People on reality shows.
b. Reality shows.
c. Different kinds of TV programmes.
d. The way some people live.
5. Some people are against reality TV because they say ...
a. people might learn dangerous secrets.
b. it wastes people‟s minds.
c. it is uninteresting.
d. gossip can hurt people‟s feelings.
6. Which of these reasons for going on a reality show does the writer NOT mention?
a. Making money.
b. Attracting attention.
c. Working in the media.
d. Developing your personality.
7. What does the writer predict about the future of reality TV?
a. They will make programmes on a farm.
b. Reality TV will become less popular.
c. Everybody may get the chance to take part.
d. They will make programmes in fewer areas.