The Problem With Reality Dating Shows

The concept of reality television is nothing new in today’s market. Like regular television, reality shows thrive on chaos and drama. It’s well documented at this point that most reality shows are pre-written before the cameras start rolling. Of course, producers and editors craft storylines or purposely edit their show in a way that makes it the most engaging.

Despite a good majority of reality television being fake overall, that’s not the problem. Dating shows, in particularly, have created a culture where this generation feeds off the most superficial aspects that doesn’t have much of a factor that truly determines love. Reality shows in general are bad (thought an entertaining mess sometimes), but dating shows are a huge problem.

Reality Dating Shows Center Around The Most Shallow and Superficial Aspects On Dating

The Problem With Reality Dating Shows

I touched upon this briefly above but the biggest issue is that dating shows tend to only focus on the superficial aspects. It’s extremely rare to see someone who isn’t conventionally attractive. Even for a show like Love is Blind, which is centered around the emotional connection between two people, it still feels superficial because it still has conventionally attractive contestants.

Dating shows have helped shaped the superficial culture that has made modern society choose superficial things like looks or money as the ultimate must when it comes to love. Of course, there are other factors to this – like dating apps – so it isn’t all reality television.

Image and body standards are a huge influence in the world we live in today. It brings out a problem that tells audiences who don’t look like anyone onscreen that you’ll likely never find true love unless you look like a model. Even then, it makes dating shows hard to watch when there’s so many shallow, self-centered, and rude contestants who dominate the screen because their personality brings drama. All this to say, reality dating shows fail to mirror the real aspects of what actually dating is.

The Concepts Have Become Absurd and Cringeworthy

The Problem With Reality Dating Shows

The days of a simple concept are long gone. Say what you will about The Bachelor (or Bachelorette), but it has a relatively straight forward premise. Of course, all dating shows can’t simply be the same so new ideas and concepts have to be introduced. Some aren’t too bad. Love is Blind is actually a good premise on paper. So is Too Hot To Handle.

However, then there are concepts like Chains of Love – which saw two contestants chained together around the clock. Or even MILF Manor, a disgusting and vile series where a group of middle-aged mothers try to seduce men in their early 20’s. The twist is those young men are the sons of the contestants, with plenty of cringeworthy moments that borderline incest.

Dating shows with wild concepts aren’t about finding true love. It’s about entertainment. To be fair, all dating shows are about entertainment. However, concepts with a moral gray manner like MILF Manor is about tapping into the viewers curiosity and playing with the borderline incest angle in hopes of standing out in a good way. The gimmick is the star here. What’s the point of watching a dating show of this nature when in reality, these would never happen when it comes to finding genuine love.

There’s Always A Villain

Bartise Bowden in Perfect Match

Nobody is perfect. However, to piggyback off my earlier statement, personalities are the key factors when it comes to reality shows. It would be amazing to see two genuinely good-hearted people fall in love without much chaos or drama. Don’t get me wrong, every relationship hits a speed bump at some point, but that’s the focus for producers of reality television.

They want interesting people. Never mind compatibility. It’s been stated plenty of times that producers often find these contestants on social media. There’s always a villain on these shows because in the minds of producers, there needs to be one. Sometimes, the producers edit the show in a way that makes the contestants look bad. It makes these dating show harder to watch because we should be rooting for these couples to fall in love.

Forcing a villain manufactures a narrative that isn’t true. How can we believe in a relationship when the editors have all the control on how it will look on TV? There doesn’t NEED to be a villain. The purpose should be to see whether these people are genuine match for one another. It makes these dating shows look fake, and considering that it’s well known that most of the stuff is scripted, that’s not a good thing.

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