Reality TV

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Reality TV

Postby Attrage » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:15 pm

Sorry if there's already a thread on reality TV. But channel surfing the other night I came across one of many reality television shows airing in my country all year round. This one was Beauty and the Geek Australia. I assume in North America you have the same show (since Australia makes a habit of ripping off every US-reality show that’s even remotely successful over there) but for those who haven’t had the…um, pleasure of catching this one, it’s basically they take 10 or so male “geeks” (guys with PhD’s and who enjoy a bit of online Halo) and 10 “beauties” (ie the most airheaded cheerleaders and table dancers they can find), stick em all together in a mansion and give them inane “challenges” each week, the losers of said challenges are then up for being booted out of the competition. I guess the winning couple gets a monetary prize or something when all is said and done. Anyway in last night’s episode one of the geeks decided he was going to put his heart on the line and tell one of the beauties he has the hots for her, so they had a little intimate moment in one of the bedrooms where he nervously looked at his feet while confessing his love and they had a bit of a hug about it all. I was struck that this supposedly private moment was obviously not private - I mean, in order to film it there would have to be a guy with a camera, maybe another guy with a boom mike etc in the room while this supposedly very private conversation was taking place. I’m not much of a fan of reality television, I’ve watched entire seasons of the Amazing Race but that’s about it. However I kind of assume that so-called reality TV is far more scripted than we the audience are led to believe. Does everyone else assume this, and just enjoy the illusion, or is there more to it? Am I giving this topic way too much thought?? Probably…anyway, I’d appreciate you guys sharing your thoughts. The popularity of reality TV is really mystifying to me…I just don’t get the attraction.
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Re: Reality TV

Postby Paul Kile » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:25 am

The popularity of Reality TV is that it is cheap to make. The formula for almost all the shows is exactly the same, and of course everyone realizes the situations are scripted, but they watch them anyway. Why else would an irritating contestant with limited talent be kept until nearly the end of the season? Because people want to watch other people squirm and bicker amongst themselves.

There were only two "reality" TV shows I remember that were a cut above all the rest, and they both came out of the UK. One was called Spitfire and the other was Bomber Crew. In both shows they took a group of people and put them through actual WWII training procedures. The first were a number of pilots who went through vintage RAF flight training, the second group were the grandkids of actual Lancaster crews that were trained in each of the crew positions their grandfathers held. The payoff for the winners was exciting - 10 hours of actual flight in a dual-control Spitfire, and a simulated bombing mission in one of the last 2 flyable Lancasters.

But shows like this are few and far between. And the reality dreck is shoving much better shows off the air. Witness the recent SyFy decision to axe Eureka after next season. The reason? Too expensive to make. So guess what will be replacing it!
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