Reality Television Programs: “How Real is Reality?”
Lights flashing, cameras clicking, and lavish lifestyle – all equal reality television shows? Wrong. Imagine your walk out to your mail box: pajamas, slippers, and a mug of coffee. You grab your newspaper and T.V. Guide to head inside to start your daily routine. This is a real-life situation that would fit within the boundaries of the definition of the word “reality”. No one would click record or devote time in their day to watch someone do something they could personally experience themselves. Yet, chances are the guide you just grabbed somehow contains lists upon lists of differing reality T.V. shows. How is this possible? Reality television stretches the title “reality” just a bit too far as they have been accused of providing scripts, staging and editing “real” life situations, dramatizing and influencing how cast members behave, and promoting unethical values for a monetary gain. Any group or organization, no matter the size or amount of money they wield would be able to take down this multi-billion dollar genre, yet if viewers and producers around the programs would take the shows for what they are, entertainment programs, then it would reduce the amount of deceitfulness surrounding it .
All you have to do is Google the definition of “Reality Television” to find what makes a television program fit into the vague genre of Reality T.V. Wikipedia defines the genre as being “…a genre of television programming that documents unscripted situations and actual occurrences, and often features a previously unknown cast…”(Wikipedia). Bing, Google, and Yahoo dictionaries all referenced the words to a similar definition. This means that anything that lies outside the boundaries of these definitions could not, should not possibly be considered a part of that genre, yet reality television programs have been vastly accused of providing scripts to have memorized for the shooting of their shows. Once interviewed by Fox News about her popular show, Kristin Cavallari spilled all the dark and scripted secrets of her MTV series, “The Hills”. As stated in Fox’s interview with both Kristin and members of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” stated that their shows were “far from unscripted” and “pretty much fake”. Bravo’s show had a soul purpose of providing spontaneous events involving a dating themed storyline that was to be carried out live and unedited, but has now been proven to have the whole show predetermined (Fox). Both interviews were not done with outsiders researching a certain program, but instead were done with members of the once existing programs; these are people that had once earned stardom and their salaries because of the same programs they were questioned about. Having actual existing members of these fake “reality” television shows back up the accusations makes it almost impossible to argue for the programs integrity.
Now when contestants of reality shows or reality television “stars”...