Disclaimer: It’s all jokes and fun. Please don’t feel offended.
The romance between law and show-business seems to be stronger than ever. Celebrity Kim Kardashian shows that being a lawyer is a new cool, whereas lawyer Amal Clooney shows that being in a celebrity is an ‘it-was-always’ cool. The original reality show was neither The Simple Life, nor The Osbournes, but the OJ Simpson trial. Court drama tv shows have been an enormous success all over the world, and at this point, almost every country has each own Judge Judy. One may wonder why these two, ostensibly so distant fields like show business and law, are looking so good together?
My friends and I have two law degrees, come from various countries, and deal with different branches of law. Aside from being passionate about law, we all have another thing we enjoy — we are fans of something that somehow became a synonym to show-business, namely reality tv shows. Guilty as charged! We may disagree which show is the best since some of my friends are obsessed with 90 Days Fiancé or Vanderpump Rules while some of them like classical productions like Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Real Housewives. The one show that unanimously won the popularity contest among us was Love is Blind.
Nevertheless, there is one common denominator to all the shows that we all love: the drama. Drunk, rich people arguing? Yes, please. Are you getting married to a random person without seeing him/her before? You have my attention. Crazy plots, repeatedly crying and laughing, creating the secrets, hiding the secrets, and then revealing the secrets? It sounds like an exciting thing to watch this evening after work.
During our social gatherings, we would sometimes try to address the following issue: what are the reasons that despite having two law degrees, being involved in severe and significant work, we appreciate watching the alternate, superficial universe of reality shows? Upon consultations with my friends (big thanks for Sofia and Magdalena for their contribution to this piece!), I came up with ten reasons why.
§1. Law is all about the drama.
The reason people study law is to be involved in the never-ending drama later in life. Historically, the courts and executions had always the entertaining factor that attracted all the drama-lovers from the village. With reality show, you have the drama, but you don’t need to study anything for ten years to follow it, so it’s a win-win.
§2. You are a human of the renaissance.
You can discuss French postmodern philosophy, read Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism, and talk about recent arrests of Felicien Kabuga or Ghislaine Maxwell. But at the same time, you can debate whether the fact that Jessica was 34 and Mark was 24 had to anything with Amber’s new blond hair color during the reunion. Your eclectic feed on social media proves that you can have it all.
§3. You want to escape from the seriousness of law.
Whether you deal with mergers and acquisitions, war crimes, or family law, the law can be emotionally draining. Hence, reality shows help to escape from the difficult topics and let you be less cloudy at least for a while.
§4. You enjoy watching the luxurious life and secretly want to be rich one day.
Reality shows can be aspirational because they show that you can achieve a wealthy lifestyle if you work hard (see Erika Jayne’s husband attorney Tom Girardi). While it is expensive to become a lawyer, you wish that in the future, it will be expensive to be one as well.
§5. You wanted to be an actress/actor, but your grades were too good. Now you miss the drama class, so you watch reality tv instead.
Also, aside from good grades, you did not want to kiss strangers. And yes, the law is exceptionally fascinating and can be very emotional, but let’s be honest here, it will never be as crazy spontaneous as a reality tv.
§6. You see what others can’t see in reality shows.
As the old proverb says, you see what you want to see. Therefore, since you are a naturally curious person, you gain knowledge and new information even from reality shows. For instance, I learned about the existence of a profession called ‘accountability coach’ (and I might consider pursuing it if the law won’t work).
§7. You seek inspiration to be better at arguing.
It is crucial to improve argumentation and debating skills continually. Still, you don’t want to torture your family to argue with you over stupid things to see how your reflex has improved. Therefore, you choose to have peace at home and watch reality tv.
§8. You like watching the drama, but you don’t want to have it in your personal life.
That’s the tea.
§9. You appreciate more sophisticated entertainment, but sometimes you want not to use your brain for a moment.
Even professional athletes, who train almost all the time, let their muscles rest because only then they will achieve the results. The same applies to the brain. Your brain, when intensely and frequently used, needs and deserves some rest to stay sharp and serve you even better.
§10. Judging the bad choices of people on tv is just fun and comforting.
You like judging others, but you can’t afford to judge your friends because you will end up alone. Jessica’s messy love life, Khloe potentially going back to Tristan, Lisa and Kyle still not speaking… You can finally judge whatever and whomever you want, and no one will call you judgmental!