Reality TV: Is it Really Reality?

This kind of reality show will never be seen because it is too close to reality.

Reality television started with Real World on MTV. It was first telecast in 1992 and eighteen years later the show is on still on the air with Season 24 starting later this year with the houseguests living in New Orleans.

One thing for sure is that the houseguests are not picked from names in a hat.  Producers want drama and will choose people that are likely to clash during the season.

The producers know it would make for boring television if they chose houseguests who had similar interests and got along well and would sit around talking about the weather all day.

So they choose the most outrageous people they can find for these shows so they can supply the drama that viewers want.

The TLC network has went overboard with reality shows about little people. I like the show Little People in a Big World very much but I am sure the producers go out of their way to provide the most drama possible.

Who wants to tune in a show about a perfectly happy family that never quarrels with each other? Producers realize that and show families like the Kardashians and the Osbournes who are in constant turmoil and those shows provide drama from their everyday lives.

There is a show on MTV now named Jersey Shore which I have never seen but it is reportedly a show about a group of young people living together.

One show made the news when a man hit a girl in the face which may or may not have been shown after it happened since it makes it look like MTV is condoning violence.

The show was so popular that the kids on the show will be paid $10,000 an episode in the upcoming second season and will be moving to Miami.

These kids who were unknowns before the show aired are now making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Reality television to me reminds me of the quiz show scandals in the past where someone who was popular with the viewers would be fed the answers so the ratings would remain high.

Then there are the mega hits like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. How do we know who was actually voted off of one of these shows?

Why can’t the viewers know the complete results of this voting?  It would make for very interesting the reading  to know how close the voting was on each elimination show.

The hosts of these shows like to prolong the drama by saying the person leaving today is……and then wait a long time before announcing  who is going home.

We will never know how much of a reality show is actually reality because the producers know to place a stipulation in contracts that anyone in a reality show revealing production secrets could be subject to being removed from the show.

Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

2 thoughts on “Reality TV: Is it Really Reality?”

  1. How can something be “reality” when the people involved know that the camera is always on? I have not watched television for over 25 years now. The last show that I watched with any regularity was “Murder She Wrote.” With the spate of reality shows it will be at least another 25 years before I would even consider watching television again. Give me old time radio any day of the week, with one exception.

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