Entries in reality tv (14)

Monday
Jul252016

The Curse of the Real Housewives Continues: Another Few Bite The Dust

That’s right, another year and another Bravo-lebrity divorce or two. This time it’s Jules and Michael Wainstein from the Real Housewives of New York calling it quits on their eight-year marriage. Recent reports also indicate that Real Housewives of Atlanta alum Cynthia Bailey filed for divorce from her husband Peter Thomas. 

A few years back I wrote about the curse of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. With these recent divorces it appears that the curse lives on and continues to claim victims. Perhaps it is the promise of fame that drives women to parade their lives on national television. However, as we’ve all seen by the apparently escalated divorce rates for these reality TV stars, celebrity has its price.

Given this latest round of divorces, I figured it was a good time to revisit my past post on this topic. How does The Real Housewives make relationships more volatile and vulnerable to divorce?

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Tuesday
Feb242015

Vocal Cues of Fertility: Bachelor 19’s Whitney Bischoff May Be the Ultimate Prize

Full disclosure: Watching The Bachelor/ette is a huge guilty pleasure of mine. It’s fascinating not just for the entertaining drama, but also as a unique case study of relationship dynamics. If you’re unfamiliar, The Bachelor is a reality TV show in which 25-30 beautiful and presumably single women contend for the attention, love, and marriage proposal of one eligible gent over the course of about two months of filming. Every season is chock-a-block with romantic and often extravagant dates, profuse amounts of smooching, and (sometimes ridiculous) drama. (Disclaimer: Before I get to the meat of this article, I should make it clear that that while I find the show very amusing, I don’t find the format to be particularly realistic, nor do I feel like the format allows for a strong foundation that can foster a future long-term relationship to be built—though there seem to be a few happy exceptions.)

When I watch The Bachelor/ette, I love to shamelessly analyze the contestants and try to make connections to research (after all, I am a relationship science nerd). There are always a few contestants who stand out, for better or worse, and this season I’m a bit mesmerized with Whitney Bischoff in a good way. She seems very classy, but more than that, she has a very distinct voice. The pitch is quite high, and though some people might find it a bit intense, it may actually make her more appealing to our current Bachelor, Chris.

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Wednesday
Feb182015

An Amazing Race…Down the Aisle?

The producers of the Amazing Race have decided to shake things up: For the upcoming season, six of the teams racing around the world are existing romantic couples, and the other five teams are unacquainted dating hopefuls whom producers matched up for the “most extreme blind date ever.”

Given the poor track record of reality shows designed to help contestants find love (the last Bachelorette contestant Andi Dorfman recently split from her fiancé Josh Murray, and in 28 seasons, the Bachelor & Bachelorette have produced only five intact couples), one can’t help but wonder...are these matched couples on the Amazing Race doomed to a similar fate?

But before we write these “blind date” couples off, let’s take a moment to consider the research evidence suggesting that these couples may be the exception – they may be some of the few couples who actually find lasting love on reality TV. Further, the existing romantic couples may experience relational benefits from competing on the show.

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Wednesday
Jan142015

Want to Stay Married? Then Don’t Become a Reality TV Housewife

Hello. My name is Sadie, and I am addicted to TV. If you read my articles, then you are already aware of this, but you may not know that one of my guilty pleasures is Bravo’s The Real Housewives franchise. Although my relationship with the show has been on-again/off-again due to the (almost) unbearable level of cat-fighting, I have probably not missed an episode since the show’s inception in 2006. Over the years, I have followed the “real” lives of women across the nation from New York to Orange County as they publicly aired their dirty laundry. I’ve delighted in their triumphs and sometimes even in their misfortunes. However, enough is enough, and I finally have to speak out. Ladies, if you want your marriages to work then please, please, do not agree to be on The Real Housewives (at least not without reading this article first)!

We all know that divorce is prevalent in the United States. Currently, 40% of first marriages fail to reach “happily ever after” (and the rates are even higher for those who have been married more than once). What you may not know is that the divorce rate for The Real Housewives is double that of the general population.To be fair, this elevated rate is not limited to divorces that have occurred since joining the cast, but rather takes into account whether these women have ever been divorced (before or after participating in the show). 

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Monday
Sep082014

Southern Charm and the Culture of Honor: Southerners Are Sugar and Spice Until They Feel Insulted

Because my writing niche is connecting relationship science to pop-culture, I often find links between what I teach and what I watch. However, as a southerner, I have been particularly intrigued by Bravo’s reality TV show, Southern Charm. This past season, I eagerly awaited the weekly opportunity to revel in the salacious bed-hopping and bourbon-swilling of these Charleston socialites. For fans of the show, you know that the characters often try to behave in refined ways that demonstrate their good manners. Nonetheless, this etiquette generally gives way to the debauchery for which we watch the show. As this homage to social propriety seemed somewhat unique from other reality TV shows (such as Jersey Shore), I couldn’t help but wonder if this curious behavior was tied to the cultural norms and southern traditions of the characters’ upbringing.

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Friday
Aug082014

"Married At First Sight": I Do…Not Even Know You

I hate television. Unless I’m learning how to make a soufflé or watching Starks get slaughtered on Game of Thrones (whoops…spoiler alert), I’m generally pretty content to keep my eyes off the screen and my nose in a book. But when I stumbled across Married at First Sight, my curiosity got the best of me, and I had to check it out. 

Married at First Sight is a new reality show (or “social experiment,” as marketers like to describe it, despite it not actually being an experiment) on the FYI network. Four experts—a sexologist, a sociologist, a spiritualist, and a clinical psychologist—worked together to select a small group of individuals whom they could pair up to create what the experts believe would be successful relationships. Out of the initial pool of 50 people, the expert panel identified three “matches,” based largely on the partners’ demographic characteristics, beliefs about relationships, desire for children, religious preferences, and family histories. Here’s the kicker: These individuals agreed to enter into a legally binding marriage with one another for a minimum of one month—knowing they would meet their partner for the first time at the altar. After 30 days of living as husband and wife, the couples will decide whether or not they want to remain married. Brings a whole new meaning to the term “trial marriage,” huh?

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Monday
Jul302012

Too Romantic and Too Short: Why Relationships from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette Fail

Now that Emily has chosen Jef over Arie in the most recent Bachelorette, the question is whether their relationship will make it to the altar and beyond. After fifteen bachelors and eight bachelorettes, so far there has only been one successful marriage (Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter). Although three other couples, including Jef and Emily, are currently engaged, and one bachelor married the runner-up instead of the winner, most of the bachelors and bachelorettes actually found love elsewhere. Why might this series, which is supposed to help people find love, fail so miserably at producing long-term relationships?

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Monday
Jan022012

It's Back! New Season of The Bachelor Starts Tonight

The season premiere of The Bachelor, featuring the rejected Ben Flajnik from last season's The Bachelorette, airs tonight on ABC. Ben's getting a second chance, so we're doing the same for a post from our archives. Click the link below to read SofR's featured columnist Dr. Amy Muise's empirical analysis of how shows like The Bachelor could impact your own romanic pursuits. 

Is Watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette Bad For Your Relationship?

Tuesday
Aug022011

Relationships on the Jersey Shore - Are You Ready for Season 4?

With Season 4 of Jersey Shore set to premiere, we thought our readers should prepare for the show by catching up on our previous Jersey Shore articles.

Note: Please also feel free to prepare for the new season by getting a spray tan and commencing with abundant fist pumping. That is all. 

Tuesday
Jul122011

Is Watching The Bachelorette Bad for Your Relationship?

Here for the right reasons

Last chance at love

Sent home broken-hearted

If you recognize these phrases, you, like me, are guilty of watching The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Recently, one of our readers was curious about how pop culture influences relationships. The current season of The Bachelorette provides a great case study to answer this question. Is watching relationship “reality” TV like The Bachelorette bad for your real life relationships?

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Saturday
Jul022011

Was "Love in the Wild" Created By a Reader of Science of Relationships?

Rarely do I see an ad for a reality TV dating show and think to myself, “Hey, that reminds me of a research study.” But somehow, some way, NBC’s new show Love in the Wild did just that. What I found amazing is that the show appears to have been created by someone who really enjoyed our post on how heightened arousal levels can result in greater attraction between partners.

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Tuesday
Mar222011

Jersey Shore: Snooki and Vinny = "Friends with Benefits"

Rather than write about the continuing saga of Ronnie and Sammie (guess what, they’re still fighting as predicted in last week’s post), I thought I’d focus on Vinny and Snooki’s relationship.  If you’ve been following the show, you know that they were friends that “smushed” (had sex) in the past and remain close friends. Essentially, they have a “friends with benefits” relationship where there is a friendship and sex, but no romantic relationship.1  

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Monday
Mar142011

Ronnie & Sam on the Jersey Shore: Will They Ever Stop Fighting?  

Sammie came back to the house, swore that she and Ron were over, they got drunk and ended up back together…for about a day before they started fighting again. This may be the least surprising series of developments on Jersey Shore, well aside from Snooki getting arrested for public drunkenness. The roommates knew this was coming and that there was going to be a big fight. Paulie even remarked how he was going to get some popcorn, sit on the couch and watch the upcoming “movie” of the inevitable Ron and Sammie fight. Everyone thought the chain of events was obvious, yet Ron and Sammie tried to work it out.  

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Saturday
Feb192011

The Jersey Shore: Ronnie & Sam’s Break-Up (Gottman Saw It Coming)

It took a lot longer than it probably should have, but the turbulent relationship between Ronnie and Sammie on The Jersey Shore has come to its inevitable end. Finally. The Situation best summarized their relationship when he basically said “I like both of them, but I just don’t them together.”  But really…who didn’t see this coming?

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