Sitcoms vs Reality TV

Taking advantage of cable TV deals these days can present you with plenty of options.  There’s something for everyone on television— and then some— making it a challenge to decide what to watch.  Sitcoms and Reality TV have become two of America’s favorite forms of entertainment.  So what is the difference between the two?  It may seem obvious, but next time you sit down to relax, here’s a little insight that might sway your decision on the show you'll choose.

While both Sitcoms and Reality TV can cover a large variety of subjects and emotions, there are distinct differences between the two.

Sitcom is short for situational comedy.  For the most part, they’re supposed to be funny— although sitcoms have also been known to tackle difficult subjects and complex emotions.  The overlying tone is meant to make you feel good, have a laugh, and follow a group of people and their stories each week. Often episodes have the characters overcome an interruption in their normal routines.  Most sitcoms follow families, workplaces, or a group of friends, and each episode is part of a larger ongoing story.  Bottom line, they’re completely fictional, written by talented writers who bring us some truly great TV.  Here are examples of some great sitcoms: Frasier, The Office, Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld, and The Cosby Show.  

Reality TV
Many people watch Reality TV to focus on problems that aren’t their own.  Watching other people’s lives is a great distraction.  Although Reality TV is supposed to be real, there is a strong editing element that can alter our perceptions, and make it seem almost fictional— because it’s sometimes impossible to believe what people will do in front of a camera.  Unlike sitcoms, Reality TV covers a much broader spectrum of subjects and emotions.  There are contests, competitions, shows that lift your spirit or make you cry, shows that offer ideas on how to do something, and of course shows that make us shake our heads and say— seriously?!  Reality TV also seems to create a stronger reaction to a show’s individuals.  There are many love’em or hate’em characters in the genre.  With Reality TV more popular than ever, we'll probably continue to gain some interesting and entertaining new stars.  Here are some examples of popular Reality TV shows: The Real World, Survivor, American Idol, The Biggest Loser, Dancing With the Stars, The Apprentice, and The Bachelor.  

If you’ve scored cable TV deals from Comcast or other cable providers, think about what you’re looking for in a show.  When you tune in tonight are you looking for a great Sitcom or some juicy Reality TV?  Whatever you decide, it’s nice to know there are so many options.

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