Truth in television?

Mar.20, 2009, filed under Miscellany

You know, while I’m at it, the whole concept of “reality TV” is a lie. It’s an outright fabrication. It implies some sort of connection with reality, and there is no such thing. We already have a word for real life shown on TV: it’s called the documentary.

Every single one of these so-called reality TV shows is scripted and the participants manipulated for the purposes of entertainment; if such crass, unintelligent melodrama can even be described as entertainment. These programmes are no more than the tabloid newspapers of television: soap opera dressed up as having some form of social commentary, when they are about as far from social commentary as Belgium is from Bolivia. The only information we can derive from such codswallop is the sad state of what passes for mass entertainment these days. They teach us nothing about ourselves as a social species apart from the willingness of the populous to see other people put in ridiculous situations designed to provoke emotional stress with the footage edited to highlight the conflict arising from the way the programme makers have constructed the shows to bring out the worst in people.

I wouldn’t call for a ban on reality TV, but it should be called something else. Utter trash would get my vote.

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