In the past, I have watched few reality television shows, but most memorably, was America’s Next Top Model. The show was about beautiful women competing to become a model. I remember it being a bit trashy, but still a guilty pleasure to watch. The other reality show I watched was Extreme Home Makeover, which as a kid I loved, just to see the crazy rooms that the kids would get once their house got a makeover. Netflix’s Queer Eye conforms to both America’s Next Top Model and Extreme Home Makeover by fixing up people’s homes and giving them a new physical makeover. However, Queer Eye focuses on what seems to be a more charitable cause, like Extreme Home Makeover does, while America’s Next Top Model is more of a fight to be the best model. In America’s Next Top Model, there is a lot more drama that Queer Eye. Queer Eye has some drama, but its not mean. It is very emotional and focuses on bettering the life of someone, not just getting into the cut-throat fashion world.
Personally, I think that the makeover subgenera of reality television is most appealing because it has a story like dating programs, but is less trashy. I think the audience can live vicariously through the people on the show and maybe learn something new, maybe about fashion or cooking, like in Queer Eye. Conversely, the dating programs seem to be just drama for drama’s sake. I think that all subgenera of reality television give are emotional in one way or another and the audience is able to be attached to their favorite people, which is why they keep watching more. If the audience is curious about what happens to their favorite personality as the show progresses, they will keep watching.
Queer Eye challenges attitudes on masculinity and maleness by showing that participating in things like cooking and fashion (which arguably, could be traditionally considered a woman’s area of expertise) can really improve a straight male’s life. I think it was really fun to watch the Fabulous 5 helping others through their areas of expertise, and even thought they are all gay, it was still great to see men doing things that may still be atypical in society. I’d like to predict that through these kinds of shows, featuring individuals of different sexual orientations, will influence the attitudes of audience members watching the show to be more accepting and open to changing their ideas of masculinity.
I think Nailed It! can credit its success to the popularity of memes. There are tons of “Nailed It!” memes on the internet and they are hilarious. Watching average people attempt to make decadent food masterpieces is comical because of how terrible the contestants made their projects. I think the show sends a positive message about personal failure- to keep a good humor about it. I don’t think the show is meant to be hurtful to the contestants, but have a good laugh and win prizes.