Reality TV shows refers to a type of television program that portrays real life situations that are melodramatic, unscripted as well as humorous. These shows normally depict real life events using normal people going about their daily activities. This is unlike traditional TV shows that are professionally scripted and uses professional actors. This genre encompasses a variety of television formats of programming. These may include; game shows, surveillance or even quiz shows.
The reality show phenomena raise several pertinent questions. This presentation will focus on some of these aspects of reality shows and seek to answer them. The first part is the aspects of the reality shows that may appear real while they are not. The paper will explore the stereotypes that reality shows may communicate as well as the moral and ethical judgments that are considered during the shooting of these shows. Additionally, the aspects of society that are promoted by the reality shows are also discussed. The picture that reality shows paint of the Australian culture, youth and the society in general will also be discussed (Holmes and Jermyn, 2004). To begin with, it should be noted that there are aspects of reality shows that are real while some are not real and may be acted. Reality shows are meant to capture and captivate audiences. In order to do this, they need to have captivating events that the viewers can relate with naturally. However, this may not be the case if those involved are left to act naturally.
Therefore, in order to raise the ratings of the show, several things are done for the participants. To begin with, the participants are placed in locations that are exotic and situations that are abnormal may be created in order to create the necessary fantasies (Biressi and Nunn, 2005). The participants are normally urged to act in a particular manner as suits the producer. In fact, they may be directed by the producers on how to portray certain aspects of themselves. However, from the depictions of such reality shows, it raises the question, ‘How far is too far?’ reality shows try to depict the lives of the participants in the most natural way possible. However, due to the popularity of such shows, there are many reality shows and the competition is stiff to be the best. This competition has caused the reality shows to stretch to extents never imaginable. First, they depict sexual scenes that are perverted and unsuitable for underage viewership. For instance such reality shows as, ‘Big brother,’ clearly depicts sexual scenes (Brenton and Cohen, 2003). Additionally, some depict horrific and dangerous scenes and the participants are required to undertake these tasks without showing fear. However, since they are normal people, they may end up being psychologically disturbed by such an experience (Hill, 2005).
Reality shows also promote certain stereotypes in society. Reality shows, despite being supposed to air the real life of the participants, air modified segments of the show that are bound to attract most viewership. For instance, most reality shows depict complex and abnormal situations among the participants. They therefore form the stereotype that relationships are tumultuous and cumbersome.
This is a wrong depiction as it can influence people in reality to begin despising healthy relationships. There are very few moral and ethical judgments that are considered. However, extreme acts that may lead to breaking the law may not be allowed (Escoffery, 2006). From the Australian perspective, the reality shows reflect a society with low moral values, especially among the youth. It depicts an erosion of culture and adoption of the popular culture. From a personal point of view, reality shows have a great influence on the society. Despite the negative aspect strongly associated with them, they have the potential of being used to depict good deeds. Furthermore, they can also be used to depict the moral strength and capabilities that real people have, the challenges they go through and the means of solving these problems. Consequently, reality shows should be encouraged for the benefit of the society.
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HOLMES, S. & JERMYN, P. D. 2004. Understanding Reality Television, Taylor & Francis Group.
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