View Full Version : Reality TV and Other Ramblings
January 27th, 2005, 02:11 AM
Can someone plz explain to me the appeal of reality TV? And why it is clogging up precious sitcom and talk show space? I mean, i was watching some stupid show the other day... something about giving people makeovers because there look doesn't conform to the almighty rules of fashion (which were probably decided upon by someone who didn't leave high school for eight years)... and I was wondering. How hard is it to make a reality tv show? All you need is a stupid concept that looks like it has never been done before, where in fact it has been done over and over again, some hot chicks, and annoying host and you're done. How about a show where we see how much money millionaires can give to homeless people within a space of two hours, and we judge them accordingly. How about a show where we see how well self-absorbed twenty-somethings can help in the foreign aid effort? How about a show where selfish primaddonnas are beaten stupid with sticks until they realize the pointlessness of their own lives? I think these shows could really be a hit in the disillusioned 15-24 yrs age bracket. How difficult is it to put intelligent, worthwhile entertainment on TV? Is there such a thing as intelligent, commercially-viable "entertainment" (and I'm not talking about nature documentaries, which are not intelligent at all)? I mean it seems sad when the discovery channel is considered 'intelligent' viewing.
What do the rest of you think about this sorry state of affairs?
January 27th, 2005, 03:34 AM
Donít even get me started on reality TV. But to start with the easiest thing first, the reason that it is on all the time isÖ..well it is cheap (very) and gets good viewing figures. Simply put there are a lot of people out whose lives are seemingly so shallow or mind-numbingly awful that watching someone get advise on what clothes to wear, or how to clean their house, or buy a house or watching a e-list celebrity masturbate a pig seems a pretty good way to spend their spare time.
Filming a drama costs quite a lot of money, more so if you are going to use the best actors you can get. Filming a couple of harridans giving a member of the public clothing advice for half an hour is very cheap. The drama may get good viewing figures if it captures the publicís imagination. The reality show will likely get good viewing figures and even if it doesnít then whatís the problem. It didnít cost anything and there are many more concepts where that came from.
The thing I find most mind boggling about reality TV is the way in which the public become interested in the doings (haircut, latest boyfriend, baby news or good god an exercise video) from the type of dysfunctional people you would cross the road to avoid in public. If your next door neighbour set up a webcam in his house and invited you to view it 24 hours a day on E4 then you would likely refuse and the neighbour concerned would probably be shunned as some kind of deviant. Do the same thing on Big Brother though and tons of people will watch it and the deviant will become a star. And more people will vote on the result than will vote in an election.
Frankly I despair. Although I am interested in a slightly detached way to see just how low they can go. How tenuous does your claim to celebrity status need to be before you are too unknown to be on Celebrity Big Brother, or even worse any show on Channel 5. Pretty tenuous judging by some of the people on The Farm.
Actually I think the whole thing is a world wide government conspiracy. As any scientist can tell you we constantly monitor radio signals from space for evidence of life. Well since the invention of the radio on Earth we are emitting such signals that others can receive. Now as Hollywood has shown (and logic would dictate) and Alien visitors are likely to be hostile so what we do is we forestall the invasion. How?
Well letís say these distant Alien minds are scanning the Cosmos for evidence of intelligent life. What better evidence could there be of the absence of intelligent life than the constant pumping out of reality TV shows, soaps, Jerry Springer and Shock Jocks.
What superior intellect worth its salt is going to cross the endless light years of space to encounter the creatures that produced that?
Hence, invasion averted.
And donít even get me started on soaps. Shows in which the public get so attached to these morons that news about what happens to the characters becomes news in the newspapers!
Opiate for the masses, all of it.
January 27th, 2005, 05:19 AM
Reality TV, the ultimate oxymoron.
Getting a bunch of z-list celebrities together to watch them bore each other stupid.
I never quite get where the "reality" comes into it as it is a totally contrived situation.
Then you have the other version where total non-entities of joe public are elevated to z-list status by going through the same ritual. :rolleyes:
I'm waiting foir the day that a serial killer convinces a bunch of washed out celebs to enter a house where they get killed off one by one in increasingly gruesome ways.
I'd watch that. :D
January 27th, 2005, 05:27 AM
I am waiting to see Celebrity Survivor: Lord of the Flies edition.
Watching Shane Ritchie being roasted over a spit or David Dickinson proclaiming himself a Golden Sun God and demanding Fern Brittain as a sacrifice. Then watch them construct a series of elaborate Easter Island style stone heads of Shane Mcgowan to frighten away intruders.
Now thereís a show right there.
January 27th, 2005, 06:50 PM
This discussion reminds me of a line from The West Wing to the effect that if the losers were eaten, the Academy Awards would be worth watching. :D
January 27th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Well, I'd argue that there are still some good reality shows out there. 'The Apprentice' is just about the only thing I watch sometimes, and 'The Amazing Race' isn't bad. Anybody agree with me on these?
January 27th, 2005, 11:55 PM
The apprentice... I have to admit I watched one episode, but then I had to stop , pause, and ask myself "Why the hell am I watching this?" The answer was obvious. Because I wanted to see those people fail. I wanted to see them start crying. I might be sadistic, but so is every one. And I bet that's why everyone watches. We love watching people fail. Let's face it, it draws attention away from our own failures.
The amazing race is okay. But it still carries the stigma of being reality TV, and therefore, I must not watch it. Stubborn? Course I am.
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