April 6, 2008

Waiter, Reality Check Please

These reality television shows are always fun to watch. These companies who come up the ideas are constantly looking for a new spin.
It all started out with "The Real World", MTV's show about the lives and adventures of a selected group of young adults. Of course, a lot of what went on was grasps at the straw, whose name is fame.
Than came the whole Survivor series(I'm still waiting for the Survivor Downtown Los Angeles), which took the same general idea but gave it an edge. The problem with that one is obvious of course, a television show isn't going to really let any of the survivors become the dead. Reality television can only be so realistic, right?
The thing that really gets me about these shows is one simple fact, we love to watch other people suffer and humiliate themselves. Let's face it, nobody watches these kinds of shows to see a hero emerge. People watch these shows to see the failure, the losers, the person with a few screws loose.
Now we've come into an era where reality television has stepped into the "talent show" field. You've got Dance Wars, American Idol and a whole rack full of others. The point of these shows being to make a star. The one problem with that is that most of these "stars" end up sounding almost identical to each other. They all have to have a near perfect pitch to their voice or they don't even make it through the first audition. Funny enough, people like Mick Jagger, John Lennon, etc. wouldn't have made the cut. No, these are shows looking to create the next Britney Spears, Christina, or Justin Timberlake.
Now your saying, "No, what about the nerdy people they let on, the people with problems, the people labeled losers that have won". The companies that come up with these shows aren't dumb, they know that's what your looking for. Throw out a few "real" people and the audience will keep watching, we can still make our money off of the "beautiful" ones.
The point of all this is very simple, reality television is a scripted reality. It's impossible to put people in front of a camera and truly expect them to act natural. Next time your watching one of these shows, look close at who on the show gets the most coverage. I can almost guarantee every time it'll be the person who is causing the most controversy at any given moment.
Reality television isn't meant to be what it claims to be, it's just supposed to be entertaining to the masses.