By Cherae Hunt |Asst. News Editor|
Reality television is anything but reality.
I think reality shows have three basic story lines that I see every time I change the channel: competition, puff and fluff, and scripted “reality” television show.
“By definition, reality TV is essentially unscripted programming that doesn’t employ actors and focuses on footage of real events or situations,” according to an article by Winifred Fordham Metz.
I think it’s the desire we have as an audience to watch how other people live, essentially seeing our life through the eyes of other people.
Competition reality shows are the only reality shows that are real, in my opinion, because it doesn’t really matter who wins. The idea of a competitive show is to tap into that competitive spirit to keep us engaged.
There are the competition reality shows like “American Idol” on FOX, “Chopped” on Food Network, and “Are You the One?” on MTV.
“I feel like some are staged and some are very fun to watch,” said student David Higgins.
“Psychologically speaking, competition has been seen as an inevitable consequence of the psychoanalytic view of human drives and is a natural state of being,” according to psychology.jrank.org.
Another version of reality TV is something I like to call “puff and fluff” reality TV.
This kind of reality television is designed to pull at your heart strings and either make you cry your eyes out or say “aw,” like on TLC and OWN network because it appeals to the emotional parts of life and makes you think of you relate it back to your own family. It’s like watching yourself and your family through the screen.
“We think that we can have a very successful network that returns great value to our partners and nourishes and brings light to all of the viewers and our advertisers and our affiliates. The right way is going to be staying on brand and on mission,” stated OWN Co-President Erik Logan in an article for thewrap.com.
I’m not going to lie. I love these kind of shows, especially the wedding shows, because I love the feeling of seeing someone getting their “happily ever after.”
My favorite is between “Say Yes To the Dress” and “My Fair Wedding” with David Tutera. I could binge watch these shows all day if I could.
The last kind of reality show I think there is what I call scripted reality television.
“There is no script, but we have writers who craft plot lines, twisting and tweaking footage to create conflict and shape a story. Oh, and we redo things all the time. On “Biggest Loser,” the contestants have to walk up to the scale about five times so the producer can capture all the angles on camera,” according to an
d article on rd.com by Michelle Crouch.
These are shows like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on E! network, “Love and Hip Hop” on VH1, and Bad Girls Club on Oxygen network.
I think shows like this must be scripted because of two reasons: 1) there is always a confessional scene where they talk in first person and they aren’t really there and 2) the irrational logic of how their lives are filled with drama every week.
“It’s come to the point where reality TV is like a guilty pleasure to people, just so they can chill and watch some drama go down. Whether it’s watching Honey Boo Boo eating lunch or Kim Kardashian going to a doctor’s appointment, people are still glued to the TV, waiting to see what will happen next,” stated Colby Eis on elitedaily.com.
I don’t think reality shows are real because television networks are trying to sell a fantasy to the people on the other side of the screen to keep them watching week after week.
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