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Why is reality TV so popular?

Mark Maira and Vanessa Cheeks appear on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Megan Mack
/
WXXI News
Mark Maira and Vanessa Cheeks appear on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Connections_News_Highlight.jpg

Reality TV shows had a surge in popularity during the beginning of the pandemic and they don't seem to be losing any steam. From "The Bachelor" to "Queer Eye" to "Love is Blind," experts say viewers have used reality TV to both process how they were feeling during times of lockdown or physical distancing, and as a means of escape, where they could watch people go about their daily lives.

Now, with world events creating tension in many of our lives, does reality TV continue to provide a form of escape? Our guests discuss it:

  • Vanessa Cheeks, co-founder of the Anomaly Film Festival
  • Irene Kannyo, technical and culture writer/editor, and host of "No Labels, Included" on WAYO 104.3 FM, which is currently on hiatus
  • Mark Maira, co-host of "The Gentlemen's Club" podcast
  • Brittany Presley, reality TV fan
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.
Emmarae Stein is the production assistant for "Connections with Evan Dawson."