Monday, January 11, 2010

Reality TV

When I was in high school, and even shortly after that (late 90's and early 2000's) I watched a fair amount of TV. I liked various car shows, game shows and sitcoms. I've never considered myself a TV junkie, especially not in the last 5 years or so. I blame my lack of interest on the quality of programs that are available. The most obvious change in this time frame is the growth of "reality" shows. Big Brother, Beauty & the Geek, Survivor and the Real Housewives of [insert region here] are some of the bigger production shows while trash like the Surreal Life and Rock of Love pollute the airwaves.

As all of these, and hundreds of other shows continue to grow in popularity they also continue to get more, and better time slots on the networks. What this means is that our selection of television shows is getting worse and worse. Every two-bit network is trying to make up another reality show idea. Lets break this down a bit:

Definition of Reality
1. The state or quality of being real
2. Something that is real
I like to explain that none of these TV shows are reality at all. Lets use Big Brother as an example. Big Brother takes a house full of pre-screened socialites and puts them through various tests and situations to see how they react together. I'm positive that these contestants are picked as opposites on purpose so that drama is inevitable. I would also bet that some of them are influenced, if not paid to stir shit up. The only thing real about this show is that it involves real people. The situations are generated, the emotions are planned and the outcomes are guided. The executives pick who they want to win before the show even starts filming. The "goodget more camera time and will always be shown in the positive light where the"evil" will always be shown negatively and they'll be filmed out of context to make them worse than they are.

Reality shows are pre-recorded semi-scripted soap operas and to be totally honest, I hate that they have become so popular. It is so easy to pick out the one-sidedness of some and the unrealistic turns of another. The obvious solution is to "just not watch them" but the issue is that the networks spend so much time generating this filth that they don't air anything else worth watching. I guess I'll just have to stick to watching movies.


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