Reality TV has become a true constant in television. Even the coronavirus pandemic couldn’t stop the Australian productions of MasterChef and Seven’s rebooted Big Brother – so it appears that no matter what goes on in the world, reality TV will find a way to persist.
In this week’s episode of The Televisionaries podcast, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age‘s top TV critics discuss what makes the genre so durable. Year after year, reality TV shows top most-watched lists and generate endless watercooler conversations.
Host Louise Rugendyke is joined by culture editor-at-large Michael Idato and The Guide and Green Guide columnist and reviewer Debi Enker, and puts the question to them: why do we like to watch reality TV?
“There’s a fundamental human curiosity about how other people live,” Enker says, “and what sort of decisions they make about their lives – the sort of spaces they want to live in, the sort of food they like to cook and eat. [Reality TV] gives us an opportunity to peek into parts of other people’s lives and see the sorts of decisions they make.”