Reality television may not fit in the notion of high culture but still these shows are immensely popular. An inherent part of the popular culture, they are created to entertain and amuse those people who are not ready to submerge in sophisticated or philosophical matters in their free time. But people who seek for intellectual leisure activities still exist and they do not want reality television to invade the prime time.
It is impossible to do describe popular culture in general and reality shows in particular as either positive or negative phenomena. Their moral value is quite uncertain, however, people who study social sciences may find the behavior of the actors very illustrative. Reality shows are the tool to make a popular TV product without involving costly professional actors, screenwriters and all expenses related to them. Producers do exploit people who want to be exploited to get some fame and money. Manipulating non-professional actors, producers get a simple but dramatic plot which is clear to every type of the audience. Those who have watched a series or two are likely to remain spellbound until the end of the show.
As a matter of fact, we can draw several blatant drawbacks of the reality TV. Producers use cheap non-professional actors to discredit them across the country. Made-up conflicts exacerbate in artificial settings so that a “reality” constituent is close to zero. Reality shows also promote a cult of instant celebrity as it seems very easy for people to become a star without doing anything. And last, they do not promote any thinking among the audience. But still, reality TV remains a popular type of entertainment for the audience and a lucrative area for producers.