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Do You Prefer Watching People Succeed or Fail on Reality TV?

Many popular reality shows (Project Runway, American Idol, et al) are all about showing people at the top of their game. But, as the Boston Globe recently pointed out, lots of other breakout reality hits are all about watching people get humiliated, from Fear Factor to this Summer's Wipeout to The Two Coreys.

I can see the appeal of either type of show — though one is more like a great theater or music performance, and the other like, well, a train wreck. Which do you prefer?

Photos courtesy of Fox and copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

Join The Conversation
tiabia tiabia 9 years
I honestly wouldn't call Ninja Warrior (or the American version 'Wipe Out') a reality tv show. Those are actually game shows, with physical challenges. I always root for the people to make it, but when they don't, I find it High-larious!!!
sunny1intucson sunny1intucson 9 years
I love Wipeout; the commentary is so hilarious. My husband and I always laugh out loud. Also, they never go beyond that invisible line in making fun of someone. They use what's given them in the footage, but it's done is a way that the person can still laugh about themselves too. Compare it to American Idol auditions, where they really are cruel to some of those people I think. Yeah they're weirdos, but I think the producers/judges are unnecessarily mean to them.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
crazylovevbug crazylovevbug 9 years
i think it's kindo of sick that some people enjoy watching people fail, it's sooooo mean.
MeggyPoodles MeggyPoodles 9 years
emm113 + ryanrachelfan, I am the same way. I hate watching people embaress themselves (whether purposfully or intentionally) on these shows. Especially on VH1 (rock of love,i love money, etc etc). I physically can not watch the confrontation and awkwardness; seriously, I have to look away! If it is really bad, I close my eyes and plug my ears until its over. I do the same thing during sickeningly smooshy moments too. LOL I'm weird.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Hell's Kitchen is the only reality show I've watched in several years, and I think I mostly liked it because it was entertaining to watch people mess up incredibly simple things and then get yelled at. Although it was nice to see the people I liked succeed, too.
raieven raieven 9 years
I prefer to watch them fail epically. Hello schadenfreude!
robinesque robinesque 9 years
Same here, cravinsugar!! They're so smarmy. But to the question: I like a bit of BOTH, actually, especially if I grow to dislike the person. That's a hope for failure. (I know, real mature!) But some people you either sympathize with or can see are just trying so hard, then those you can't help but pull for!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Wipeout's really funny because of the commentary added to it...the falls dont' make me lol, but the commentary does!
yiddidea yiddidea 9 years
I enjoy Idol when the singing is good, but hate the auditions where people are making idiots of themselves. I love Project Runway because the level of talent there is always top notch! Wipeout, however, makes me LMAO at those idiots. But they put themselves in a situation to be laughed at with full knowledge of what they are doing, so that is okay.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I like both equally but then I just kind of like watching people in general. I enjoy the highs like PR and Idol but Wipeout with those big balls is just hilarious. Plus I think those people have to know they are sort of a joke when they start it's not a very serious show, and by the end someone wins the money so they have persevered right?
RyanRachelFan RyanRachelFan 9 years
I actually can´t stand it when people embarrass themselves (on or off TV) - I feel so sorry for them.
em113 em113 9 years
I really don't enjoy watching people humiliate themselves. I just feel awkward and sad for them.
frogandprince frogandprince 9 years
I don't watch a lot of reality television, but when I watch Ninja Warrior, I get so excited when people actually manage to complete a stage, and I get as upset as they do when they come close but fail. That be just be because Ninja Warrior has IMPOSSIBLE stages at most people can't complete, though.
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