The real fakery behind reality television

When reality television first became mainstream, it was a guilty pleasure that would allow you to be a fly on

When reality television first became mainstream, it was a guilty pleasure that would allow you to be a fly on the wall to some extraordinary situations people were put in. Now, reality television is almost as scripted and shaped as their “fictional” counterparts.

Reality television is almost the opposite to the classic Dragnet episodes “The stories are fake, but the names have been kept real so help the contestants land endorsements and radio gigs after the show is finished.” But it begs the question is there anything real about reality television?

Countdowns are never ending

One of the biggest challenges and a great way to build tension is the countdown time limit. Contestants only have a short time to renovate, bake, cook, or do a random task to win immunity or an another shot next week. One former contestant of a cooking program on Food Network shed some light on the “surprise cooking challenge.”

They told a forum on reddit “I worked for a bakery that was on, and won, CupCake Wars. The premise of the show is to surprise the bakers with a few, more often than not, odd ingredients and see what they’re really made of. In reality, we found out the ingredients a few months before the show. Had we not known, there’s no doubt we’d have lost.”

Faking the tension and bickering

It has been exposed in the past that some of the “sob stories” that people use as their inspiration to go on the shows have been fabrications but as one former MasterChef contestant shares so are some of the conversations.

Former contest Ben Starr wrote in a blog “The rights granted to Producer also include, but are not limited to, the rights to edit, cut, rearrange, adapt, dub, revise, modify, fictionalise, or otherwise alter the Material, and I waive the exercise of any ‘moral rights.’ I understand that my appearance, depiction, and portrayal in connection with the series may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing, or of an otherwise unfavourable nature, may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation, or condemnation, and may portray me in a false light.” He continued “Comments you see a contestant make are often pieced together from sound bytes tangents recorded throughout the entire season”. Ben concluded, “They’re really good at that. They even did it to me … strung together a sentence from three separate sound bytes scattered from my interviews at various points during filming. I never said what aired on TV. They created it out of thin air.”

This is not to say that these shows are not enjoyable, but the fact that they try to pass themselves off as reality is almost insulting to the viewer. They are as scripted and controlled as a network drama and the ratings probably wouldn’t drop if they were honest about it. Instead, they continue to claim to be real and rely on bigger and more horrifying shock events that leave a bad taste in viewers mouths.

What reality shows do you watch? Have you had enough of them or can you not get enough of them?

  1. Anne Blyth  

    I don’t watch any so called reality TV. It is do obviously fake I can’t understand how anyone could believe it….and I don’t think it could be considered enjoyable in any way. A sad reflection on what is considered entertainment these days.

  2. Eleanor Norman  

    I don’t watch either. Maybe catch the end of one waiting to see next show. ALL Unbelievable!

  3. Jacquie  

    Don’t watch this stuff anyway. You’d have to be really off with the pixies to think it was all real.

  4. Bruce Taylor  

    Stopped watching any of the reality shows after I found out just how much of the two I had become a bit interested in was faked, or used professional replacements etc. One was “Survivor” don’t even remember the name of the other.
    These shows are great for the TV channels which produce them because they cost so little to produce compared to anything which is worthwhile and will go on for as long as gullible people believe what they are watching. For as long as they continue they are keeping a lot of people out of work.

  5. Vicki Hooper  

    Can’t believe people still watch reality television. They are as boring as bat… ,!!!!
    Why people go on and get humiliated and insulted as some do is beyond me .Pretty sure the winner is picked long before the show has been started

  6. Ria Hannam  

    I have to laugh when a celeb or reporter goes to someone’s home to surprise them ddddd and there is already a camera inside to capture the surprise…..

  7. Christine  

    Seriously? YOu actually thought we didn’t already know that? The very fact that there is a camera is a dead giveaway!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *