Fiction vs Reality

This blog post isn’t really connected to the topics we’ve been learning about in class, but I thought it was an interesting topic to discuss.  Lately I’ve been wondering why many people get so invested in television shows. Not so much reality tv, but tv series that are fictitious.  I can see why reality tv is easy to watch: it’s entertaining, it’s dramatic, and despite it being called “reality” it is definitely not the norm of the people who are watching it.  But with tv shows like Pretty Little Liars, Once Upon a Time, Game of Thrones, and any other tv show that people are into, it seems like the viewers are extremely invested in the shows.  I understand liking shows and watching them weekly for entertainment, but I think looking at this anthropologically there could be more to this than just entertainment.

Fans of tv series get so invested in the storyline, the characters, etc.  To an extent I think it’s understandable to see why: if someone likes the plot of the show they are going to look forward to watching it each week because they like the content.  But I know a lot of people who are so much more dedicated to their shows than just watching them.  They have blogs about the shows, they created their own work based off of these shows, they deeply care about the characters in the show.  But why is that?  Why are so many people using up a lot of their time worrying about what’s going to happen on the show, making artwork based off of it, writing stories based off of it, blogging about it, etc.?

In my opinion, I think one way to explain the invested fan is to say that caring about the show(s) are their hobby.  Outside of watching the show, they dedicate their time to supporting the show by keeping the show alive outside of tv, making it even more personal for the fan.  As another idea, I think that a lot of times people care more about fictitious characters and stories more than people and events that are happening in real life.  Watching these tv shows is like reading a good book where you connect with the characters.  They mean something to you and you care about what happens in the storyline, even though you know it’s fake.

I know this has definitely happened to me before.  I don’t watch a ton of tv shows, but there are a few that I am invested in, but not in extreme amounts.  I don’t really know how to explain why I care about the shows that I do other than to say that the character have grown on me and made me invested just as a book would do.  What about you?  What do you think about people who get extremely invested into fictitious tv shows?  Why do you think they get so involve?  Do you have any shows that you’re invested?  If so, why do you think you care so much about the show(s)?


Author: SK

Wheaton College '19

2 thoughts on “Fiction vs Reality”

  1. I agree with your statement. i get addicted and very invested in some tv series like, criminal minds or Prison Break. I think it is because we go on a journey with the characters and want to see what the ending is.


  2. I completely agree with you. I know I’ve personally gotten into many tv shows in the past although I don’t necessarily get as invested as some other fans do. I think that once you actually truly enjoy watching a show and really get into it, you end up following it religiously and you see what the characters go through and in a weird way you as the viewer sometimes even feel their emotions. I think so many people get involved in shows because they do see themselves in maybe one of the characters and they sometimes believe that they are a part of that character’s journey.


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