10 Things I Learned Watching Reality TV

lessons from reality TV

I’d like to pretend that I’m one of those people who only watches lofty, educational programs on PBS and BBC but the truth is I’m an equal opportunity television enjoyer-er and yes I’ve watched my share of reality television. I think that statement means something different to everyone. Some people who say they watch reality television are talking about shows like Hoarders and Say Yes to the Dress. Some are watching Ducky Dynasty or Dancing With the Stars. Some are totally joking and would never.

My personal preference for reality television is competition style shows that give you a glimpse into different careers and hobbies. I was a big fan of TLC’s Trading Spaces back in the day and loved me some What Not To Wear. I still watch Project Runway religiously and I swear I’m watching America’s Next Top Model because I’m a photography buff. I’m also into cooking shows like Food Network Star, Cupcake Wars and Food Truck Road Trip though I watch those more sporadically. And though I know reality television is considered fluffy substance-free stuff, there is a lot to learn from these shows if you ignore the drama and pay attention.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned while watching reality tv:

  1. If you want to win something, you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and go for it. Take chances.
  2. If you are struggling to do something – step back, reevaluate and Make It Work! There is always another solution.
  3. When people say “I didn’t come here to make friends” they are going to be a storm cloud of drama. But a lot of the time they really were hoping to make friends. Be nice.
  4. Florian hates red velvet cupcakes, so stop it guys. Maybe watch an episode of a show before appearing on it. Also use natural ingredients. Red food dye is not a flavor.
  5. If it’s an unconventional challenge, don’t use fabric. If they wanted you to sew a dress out of fabric, they would have sent you to Mood. Follow directions.
  6. Rules for having your picture taken: Find the light. Work your angles. Smize. – that means don’t look dead inside, guys. My five year old can do it, so can you.
  7. Something something pitch something something pentatonics something something cabaret something. Dawg. Translation: Sing well if you are on a singing competition. Maybe take music lessons.
  8. Ignore the drama and focus on your craft. Be nice to people and they will probably be nice to you. Don’t be a jerk.
  9. Not everyone is destined to be a star. This is okay. This is normal. They aren’t looking for the Super Nice Person Who Tries Really Hard – but those character traits will be stellar for your real life.
  10. Have fun – if you aren’t having fun doing it, we won’t have fun watching it. And also – why do something that brings you no joy?

Mama Kat challenged us to share 10 things we’ve learned from reality television (as one of 5 prompts for this week’s Writer’s Workshop). Are you playing along? Let me know in the comments section below!

What’s your favorite tv show?

Mama’s Losin’ It

8 responses to “10 Things I Learned Watching Reality TV”

  1. Astrid Avatar

    I love these lessons. Some of t hem are funny, like the red cupcake one, while others are true life lessons. Via the writer’s workshop.


  2. Kat Avatar

    And bam! You just justified my addiction to reality tv, Just look at all the wonderful things there are to be learned!


    1. Jen E @ mommablogsalot Avatar

      It should be called “educational programming” really.


  3. Betsy Avatar

    Those are some good lessons!


  4. kelley Avatar

    you really did learn something 🙂 Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on


  5. Tima Avatar

    I’m always amazed with contestants that seem surprised with a “twist”. Really? Haven’t they watched the show before?????


  6. ljsreveries Avatar

    Who knew you actually could learn something from reality TV? I love #1 and #2 (not to be confused with pee and poo). Also, one to add to the list – if you don’t have anyone in your life that cares enough to tell you you can’t sing, maybe you should be nicer to people so someday you will.


    1. Jen E @ mommablogsalot Avatar

      Oh good call! I’m always amazed by the contestants who truly have no idea they are terrible.