I'm Addicted to Reality Television

Nicolette Weinbaum ’12
Staff Writer

Graphic by Carolyn Chen '12

I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to reality television. In the past three months, my DVR has been filling up with episodes of “Jersey Shore”, “The Hills,” “The Real Housewives of New York City,” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” just to name a few.

Some people call it stupid, I say it’s genius. The best part of my day has to be coming home from school, tossing all homework, and just plunging in to the world of reality television.

I have caught myself fantasizing what it would be like to live the life of a reality TV star. I have imagined fist-pumping at a night club with Snooki and The Situation. I have dreamt about going shopping at Dash with Kim. I can even picture myself gossiping with Jill Zarin in Central Park.

But what is it about reality television that has developed into an obsession in today’s youth culture? The aspect of reality TV that we’ve become addicted to is “Schadenfreude,” a German word used to describe people’s delight and entertainment by the failures and problems of others.

If you are laughing at Mike’s encounters with grenades, taking pleasure in Heidi Montag and Lauren Conrad’s feud, and giggling when Kim trips on herself, you are experiencing Schadenfreude.

Take my lazy Monday morning. Why should I wake up, go to school, come home and do some homework when I can watch Kim wake up, go to a photo shoot, deal with her scandalous sex tape, and hang out with her sisters?

And there’s the problem. I’ve spent so much time watching reality shows, that I have been removed from my own reality. School work, family, and SATs no longer exist. I now imagine a camera crew capturing my every move with a boom microphone, a hip tailored soundtrack, and a cheesy script that is semi-realistic tailored just for me.

There are always those sparse moments, where I, Nicolette Weinbaum, feel as though I am living life in the shoes of a reality TV star. My dull Saturday night, normally consisting of the run of the mill high school party, has now morphed into a drama filled scenario that people can not take their eyes off of.

A little argument with one of my best friends escalated to me wagging my finger in her face, while raising my voice, ala Snookie and or J-Woww. Oh yeah, let us not forget that I looked her up and down and gave major attitude on Monday.

Too far? Awkward? Maybe, but nothing beats the rush of that excitement, that entertainment, that I have gotten in my life now that I never have experienced before.

Some people say I’ve turned into a drama queen. My defense? I’m now living in a parallel universe where people are dying to see what happens in my life, and to know what move I make next.

And what is to blame? It might be Kim Kardashian and her tangled love life, or maybe Snooki’s arrest for disturbing the peace. It could be Bethanny Frankel’s baby drama, and it could be Lauren Conrad’s trip to Paris. But really, I think we all know the answer to what is to blame. Reality TV.

Everyone has been telling me that reality TV is fake, and promotes selfless living. My opinion? It is the best cure for a dreary day. A little entertainment never hurt anybody.