Sunday, January 07, 2007

Reality Bites

Time for a rant!


We have a media malaise these days. It's called 'Reality TV'. It started with the occasional gardening show, cookery series and DIY programme, and has exploded. But today's Reality TV is not about Reality - it's about shock and unreality.

We have business magnates deciding on staff recruitment on a TV show, we have a competition where a beauty contest is judged by cosmetic surgery peformed on the show, there is an opportunity for families to swap wives/mothers, in some shows contestants are encouraged (and in some cases paid) to try and have sex with other contestants on screen, we have islands and jungles and houses all populated by people desperate for their so-called 15 minutes of fame, we have z-list clebrities and members of the public taking part in some of the most demeaning TV ever seen.

And people watch this stuff! They watch women being hacked up in the name of beauty, they watch minor celebrities eat worms, they watch people being humiliated and debased on public TV.

When will these producers reach saturation point? Will we end up being offered TV like 'Series 7: The Contenders' as the programme makers become more and more desperate for viewers?

cq

18 comments:

kenju said...

I admit to watching my share of Survivor and Big Brother and Trump (before he started Rosie bashing), but reality TV has gone into the pits and I will not bother with much of it anymore. Over here in the US, they are promoting a new show with "Z" list celebs (as you say), such as Erik Estrada and one of Michael Jackson's sisters, becoming cops. Can you believe it? Such drivel!

Michele didn't send me, but I saw your mention of a new post and decided to come back and see what was new.

craziequeen said...

I read that 'Celebrity Big Brother' has kicked off here again - with Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine, and Dirk Benedict (Face from the A-Team and also Battlestar Galactica).

Why are the Jackson siblings taking part in these shows??

cq

Anonymous said...

When I was in London last January I saw a show called "10 years younger" with an incredibly offensive female host who I felt needed a makeover herself!

Michele says hi.

Anonymous said...

I love trashy reality TV.

Nikki-ann said...

I think it's something to do with cheap programming. By using these z-listers or people off the street it means they're not paying out huge sums of money to everyone. They seem like people who'll do anything for fame... It's embarrassing really.

CyberKitten said...

I'm afraid that Contenders *is* the future. People like looking at the freaks 'reality' TV throws on our screens - if only to say "I'm not like *that".

It's a bit like watching the Jerry Springer show - people are agast at the people who go on it... but can say to themselves "Not matter how bad my life is - I'm better off than these people".

TV seems to be purely about ratings these days and with x hundred channels to fill some are going to go for the lowest common level.. which I don't think we've hit yet.

Doesn't say very nice things about humanity does it?

Anonymous said...

So, over reality tv. What happened to creativity? I don't feel comfortable laughing at a real person's personal drama. And I can't watch real people kiss on national TV ala The Bachelor. Don't these people have any pride?

Anonymous said...

I hate all that type of TV. Some times I have watched the first series and thought that is a novel idea but when that "novel" idea is repeated year after year then I don't bother.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I agree my dear CQ! So called "reality" tv is NOT! Aside from the horrible subject matter, nothing about it is real...it's edited within an inch of it's life and and in that sense is just as unreal as any scripted show, except, the dialogue is pretty awful...And of course, it's all about money...So called "reality tv" costs so much less than scripted tv with real actors...this kind of tv has hurt actors terribly. And it is, as you said, the lowest of the low as far as content is concerned.
The pendulum MUST start going the other way, please God! Meanwhile, it seems to me that "reality tv" is a horrendous reflection of the breakdown of society as we knew it...sad, beyond words!

Anonymous said...

It's hard not to agree here....

I'm just off to watch celebrity Big Brother...

No I'm only Kidding ;)

Its so hard to find something on any channel that isnt some form of "Reality TV" what does that actually say about society

I mean in my "Reality"

Makes toast and sits down to blog and read blogs is about as exciting as it gets but thats not what makes TV so it has to be ramped up to work eating mud slinging gratuitous sex crescendo that is the tripe we are asked to watch (the Key is in the wording) asked to watch not forced to but it doesn't stop it being CRAP....


oooh sorry for the rant

Here via Michele's

FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

We do have the filipino version of Big Brother too. I don't even find it amusing. TV programs similar are those of Fear Factor, Wife Swap. I watch them but don't dig them.

Anonymous said...

Yikes - Never heard of some of these shows. They sound pretty bad.

RCA said...

I will speak in defense of original premises but not repetiation - the first series of Wife Swap and Big Brother were reasonabley interesting social experiments - now its just repetitive trash that I think more often than not is damaging to the individuals involved. Still haven't got over Trinny and Susannah's self-help show last year which from the 3 minutes I glimpsed basically said - dress well and all all your problems will be solved....

Full second your rant - intersting TV, if only...

Anonymous said...

It's simple really and sad. TV is business. It needs ratings to generate money, so as long as people watch this trash then they will show it.

It's the same with newspapers. Have you noticed how many seem to be more akin to Hello magazine these days? They are there to sell newspapers and not report the news so they write stories on things that will sell newspapers or take a sensationalist angle. They are certainly not interested in the truth.

I am hoping for a backlash, but I can't see it happenening.

Carmi said...

I can't wait for this seemingly never-ending fad to go away. It's nothing short of a death sentence for good television, and it's high time we got back to good writing, good acting, and good production.

So-called "reality" TV has none of these.

Jane said...

I could not agree with you more! There is nothing "REAL" about these shows. I will have to admit that I do enjoy watching "Idol" but that is the only one I watch.
I long for the days of a good sit-com or drama.

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of reality tv I am busy struggling with my reality let alone deal with what the big media conglomerates want us to watch. I think the final straw for me was when Survivor created groups pased on race.
I thought and still think it creates more annymosity towards each others race rather than drawing people together.
I'll stick to the Saturday morning cartoons more my speed.

Have a nice day

Anonymous said...

I do actually LIKE reality TV! Perhaps it makes my life seem normal so I get some comfort... NAW! hehehe I dont watch much TV in general but I like the reality bits as much as the sitcoms! You have to admit that they are shock TV these days too... I am thinking of things like Greys Anatomy...

I just went to open casting call for the next Survivor series here in Orlando! (ya me and 2000 other people!)