He Said

Why does our society seem to be attracted to all of these reality-based court shows and talk shows? Is it because we are interested in the judicial system or is it because seeing other people’s problems makes us feel better about our own lives?

While I’m sure there are a select few who do somehow feel better about their own lives by watching the misery of others, I think most people watching shows about trials do so to learn about various segments of society.

The cases are generally unusual, so at the very least they make viewers think. Everyone knows murder, rape, drugs and embezzlement exist, but seeing names, faces and scenarios attached to actual crime events makes it hit home. Hearing the testimony and evidence helps people see the judicial system in action and draws them in emotionally or intellectually.

People do want to be entertained, but something like “Jerry Springer” better fits that bill. The antics are staged and intentionally outrageous. The people are so animated and demented that most people cannot relate to them. The situations on the trial shows are regular people who can be identified with by most of society. It’s that factor of reality that draws the line.