In British television (www. bbc. co.
uk), Sam Brenton, author of “Everyone’s A Winner,” reports that there are currently at least five extremely popular reality shows. I also find that we are not just subjected to our own versions of these reality TV shows, but we must also endure the American ones also. American Idol, American Biggest Loser. We have our own versions. In the United States, Kim Campbell, a reporter with the Christian Science Monitor, counts at least ten popular reality shows on American television.
In the Arab World, there are two twenty-four hour, seven days a week ones, which keep viewers glued to their televisions for hours. In light of the international popularity of these shows, it is clear that the popularity of reality is based on the fact that they reveal the universal aspects of human nature itself. In other words, the popularity of reality shows is based on what appears to be a universal human attraction to voyeurism, the sight of people being humiliated, insulted and exposed at their most private emotional moments. The label ‘reality TV’ is what we should perhaps be examining. How real is this ‘reality’?Shoving a dozen (usually extraordinarily immature) people in a house, locking the door and having TV cameras trained on them for six weeks bears little resemblance to any reality I’ve seen or heard of.
In the past decade, the number of reality television shows featured in primetime spots have almost tripled. Reality shows are supposed to portray real life versus a screen-wr...
itten life, but how accurate are they? Reality TV shows such as Big Brother, Survivor, and The Apprentice and so on, basic principle common to all these shows is this: Put people in difficult situations and make them be mean to each other.Not only do I find this kind of brain-rotting shit-heap of a genre insulting and thoroughly uninteresting, I find the suggestion that this is “reality” an affront to humanity. How desperate to become famous do you have to be to submit yourself? Whoring yourself out to the whole nation.
What is prize at the end? A weak possibility that you might have a few brief months of post Big brother limelight before sinking back into truly deserved emptiness. It highlights the disgusting trend of the fashionable of celebrity which has invaded everything from music to politics.There is absolutely no need to put these attention seeking bottom-feeders on any kind of pedestal. If reality television producers want to push these limits, why not just go back to paying actors a salary to read lines they wrote for them? While reality shows can sometimes portray what real people are doing in the world on channels such as Discovery Channel, shows like the Real World are in no way accurate of how 7 strangers picked to live in a house together would really live.
I have an assumption that whoever keeps coming up with these reality shows has been watching a bit too much television himself.It seems to have impaired his ability to think. I know that sounds insensitive. And don’t get me wrong, I’ll admit, I’ve indulged in
the occasional “Big brother “or “I’m a celebrity .
.. Get me out here”. I’m just not going to pretend that it’s anything more than it is; trash television. Trash TV isn’t new to us all, there’s a reason (bbc.
co. uk); Jerry Springer is a name known around the world (whether or not that is a point of pride to American television is something I’ll leave up to you). It does seem to be constantly growing in popularity however and frankly that frightens me a bit.Reality shows are shows that people can watch when they don’t want any mental stimulation whatsoever. They’re shows that people can watch so as to live vicariously through others.
It’s about watching someone do something interesting so we don’t have to. It’s about voyeurism and it’s about wanting to know much more about people’s lives than we should. It’s about feeling that flighty little thrill of excitement we did as child when we cracked open our sister’s diary. Most of all, it’s a chance to see how messed up some people’s lives are so that we can realize ours aren’t so bad after all.In itself, that could be seen as a good thing. It could also be seen as the modern-day version of petty gossiping.
Instead of sticking our heads over fences to discuss the neighbour on the other side and what sort of scandals she’s getting herself into, we’re sending texts to our friends and talking about the scandals of people we’ll never meet. Take a moment to think about that. To put it frankly, doesn’t spending so much time concerned about the slight dilemmas of complete strangers make us for lack of better word losers? Reality television has come to dominate television schedules in recent years.The debate ‘Reality TV just an illusion’ had look at the popularity of reality TV, examine how ‘real’ it actually is and whether it degrades those making it, taking part in it and watching it.
Radio 4 presenter John Humphreys has appeared at a debate during November 2004 on reality television organised by the Media Society in conjunction with the University of Westminster’s School of Media, Arts and Design. John Humphreys, presenter of Radio 4’s flagship Today programme, famously criticised reality television in his MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival the year 2004.In a strongly worded speech he railed against what he sees as a “mind-numbing, witless vulgarity”. (Hodgwood, 12 10 04) University of Westminster was represented by Professor Annette Hill, reader in media and communication and author of a new book, ‘Reality TV’. Professor Hill’s groundbreaking research into what UK viewers really think of reality TV found a big majority don’t believe what they are seeing. (Hodgwood, 12 10 04) The survey of 9,000 people found that 73 per cent of respondents thought stories in reality programmes were sometimes made up or exaggerated for TV.
This is summed up by Professor Annette Hill: she said, “In essence, this may as well be network crack: reality TV is fast, cheap and totally addictive. The shows are weapons of mass distraction … causing us to become dumber, fatter,
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