When Reality TV is Too Real

The sharing of knowledge – diversifying views – leading to enlightenment.

The women of the Xi Xi Chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc., take part in a variety of discussions, covering a wide range of topics; each expressing her own views, thoughts and ideas. These discussions help to strengthen our understanding of each other and the global community. The knowledge gained through these interactions serves to reinforce the tenets on which Theta Nu Xi was founded: Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood, Leadership and Multiculturalism.

When Reality TV is Too Real – M. Musco

“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” – Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times http://b.ai/30o

The world of reality television had a rude awakening on August 15, when one of its “stars” committed suicide.  Russell Armstrong, the husband of a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast-member, hung himself in the wake of financial problems and an impending divorce.  In the days following this tragedy, many in the media asked whether filming had effected Mr. Armstrong’s fatal decision.

Some of the participants in the Xi Xi Chapter discussion about this story were avid fans on reality TV, while others were adamant non-watchers.  Everyone seemed to agree that being on Real Housewives probably exacerbated Mr. Armstrong’s underlying problems.  The question was:  who was responsible for this tragedy, and why are we watching anyway?

Reality shows are “particularly riding on viewer’s want of dirty, nasty, shameful reality television,” one participant wrote, while another said, “More and more shows like this will continue to be produced because that’s what gets the ratings and the tv networks want their ratings.”  Another participant weighed in: “We’re all part of the problem because we can’t peel our eyes away from this trainwreck.”

So while some felt that the networks that air these shows seem to do anything for more viewers and advertising dollars, others thought that blame might lie with the audience who tunes into these shows.

A few participants, however, thought that reality TV cast-members were aware of the dangers when they signed their contracts.  As one participant pointed out, “all families have conflicts but not all families make terrible decisions.”  Another pointed out, “Those who sign up know exactly what they’re getting themselves into.”

It will be interesting to see what Bravo, the network that hosts the Real Housewives franchise, will do in the future, but the Xi Xi Chapter is sure to keep up a lively debate.


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