In which How real is reality TV

From spy cameras, love tests, death defying tasks to becoming a youth icon or throwing yourself around in unmentionable clothes to become a psuedo King or Queen of a TV show. These are some of the things that run as entertainment under the flagship of Reality TV.

I wont be biased I was super excited when Bigg Boss came to India, having seen its counter part Big Brother when I was in UK. Just like the Chinese food we eat in India isnt real Chinese but the Indianised version, the same is true for these  shows as well – they are all Indianized.

Just the other day a random discussion with my friends, and we landed on this topic of Love tests, Taking a revenge on Ex’s and blind dating. Seems like those days are gone when it was quite an achievement for regular people to be part of the audience; to get noticed when the camera panned in on spectators. But now thanks to the advent of new found television segment of Reality TV, everyone has a chance to be a celebrity!!

So you have the young guns, shooting off their mouths of how desperate they are, and how willing to share their personal lives on TV. It was just some years ago that morality police chasing around couples in public places, but now is the time for a new morality police equipped with spy cams and moles planted in plot – to smoke the rat out of the cheating guy or girl. The modus operandi of this one particular show (without giving the name away) is so blue printed. First a wannabe model who lives alone or is in a live in relationship, has a partner who is the suspect, relationship issues (or not), so you plant a mole (undercover agent – yes most of the time you have to be glad that there are some covers), then the dates, usually by the second date – unless one is invited to the apartment of the other (either the agent or the suspect), while all is being recorded or relayed to the other partner via spy cams.

And then the whole masala of bitch – slapping, name calling, abusing etc etc, which would obviously sky rocket the TRPs of the channel as well as celeb status. So that is how the new relationship Tehelka scam works. These guys have been able to salvage lives of so many boys and girls, that they can provide stats for what they show also. But is all for real, thats the real question. If they claim to be out there to clean up the skunk in society and make an eye opener, then why don’t they attack the corrupt politicos, bureaucrats? But I guess with news channels providing enough fodder for that.

Love, relationships and what they stand for are redefined everyday by what is shown on sleaze TV. Most of our music channels have become masala channels, they could very well compete with the fashion channels with the number of models they have parading in and out of their shows. So you have couples willing to put themselves up to be split up. Performing death defying tasks with safety harness, that is only the respectable part any of these shows have, but they are better known for the gossip and back biting that follows.

And what amazes me even more that there are people watching this, that there is an audience for these is the only reason they survive. So are we turning into a generation that finds watching the autopsy of a relationship on TV as entertainment? Do we need youth icons who win TV shows by scheming and plotting as an inspiration? Is this really the influence we need on kids and youngsters who will be our tomorrow?

With soap operas one can atleast argue that it is a story, and not necessarily  true. But can we do the same with these shows. Can anyone say they are scripted. Of course they are, one can argue to some extent, but then is there really a need for such kind of entertainment? If it is scripted then what is real? We walk a very thin line here – soldiers dying on border leaving their families in anguish is REAL, babus and government officials taking advantage of the uneducated citizens is REAL, a women abused by her in laws and husband is REAL!!!

But are we ready to open our eyes to Reality yet or are happy just watching TV!


6 thoughts on “In which How real is reality TV

  1. I think on reality TV nothing is real except for the name and the TRP. It reminds me on the ending scenes of “Slumdog…Millionaire” where Anil Kapoor tries to persuade the guy into giving a wrong answer. Well this could be true in reality shows as well.
    A English movie “The Condemned” is an excellent make on your entire argument about how people like watching violence and stuff.

    1. thanks for your comment, i have not seen the movie yet but will definitely watch it….. i hope that via any form of media an intelligent audience is evolved hence my apprehension to such shows. also it does not mean that eductainment is necessarily meant only for channel like Discovery, TLC and NatGeo.

  2. hmmm…..most of these reality shows are pure shit. Very few that i find enjoyable….Master Chef Australia and Takeshi’s Castle are the only two that come to mind immediately! 🙂

    My biggest crib with these shows are that they have completely edged out music on all the music channels. When i was in college MTV used to be fantastic. Back-to-back great rock music all day long. Then they started with one or two programs with hindi music, and now…..

  3. I am a few years too late to post a comment here though. 😛 But heck, even Cartoon Network isn’t what it used to be. Unfortunately, the viewer’s choice and rising TRPs for crap, I believe, seemingly relate to an article you recently shared on fb titled “The power of non-sense”. Or apparently the viewer doesn’t have a choice left with every channel airing non-sense on prime time. You do have the power to turn off the tv.

    1. thanks kamalx, i think a massive filtering is required and am sort of happy with packages offered these days with cable service providers, usually non sense channels are off my list and when even that does not work, i simply switch off the idiot box

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