Identifying with Romance-Based Reality Show Characters Essay

Identifying with Romance-Based Reality Show Characters Essay

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Television viewers have more viewing choices than ever before in deciding how to spend their time with television. In recent years, reality television has become a popular genre for viewing audiences. According to Nabi (304), reality television programs, "film real people as they live out events (contrived or otherwise) in their lives.” One popular subgenre of reality television is romance-based competition shows. These shows typically follow a contestant on their search for love and as they choose between a group of attractive suitors. Over the course of an entire season, the lead contestant eliminates the group of suitors until only one-suitor remains and the couple becomes engaged.
A significant predictor for why audiences choose to watch romance-based reality television is based on the idea that it is entertaining, stimulating, enjoyable, exciting and amusing to the viewer. Based on our assumptions of mood management, we can assume that people are increasingly drawn to positive and pleasurable stimuli. Therefore, having a desire to watch for positive outcomes within the reality show significantly predicts romance-based reality television consumption. As people like to be at a moderately high level of arousal, it is likely that they will find pleasure in contestants falling in love and finding happiness. As a result, we can assume that viewers will care deeply about what happens to these television characters in the future.
The majority of romance-based reality television programming is geared towards the individuals under thirty- five years old. It is important to note, some reality shows like Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice target a wider demographic. These shows typically target eighteen to forty-nine year olds. The re...


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... Journal of Personality & Electronic Media, 36, 173-181.

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Cohen, J. (2001). Defining identification: A theoretical look at the identification of audiences
with media characters. Mass Communication & Society, 4, 245-264.

Cohen, J. (2004). Parasocial breakup from favorite television characters: The role of attachment
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Nabi, R. (2007. Determining dimensions of reality: A concept of mapping of the reality tv landscape. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 51(2), 371-390.

Sipple, L. (2011). The appeal of reality television for teen and pre-teen audiences. Journal of
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