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I have been trying to understand this for years. The brain trusts in Hollywood created these things called reality shows. They are supposed to show the real lives of people, or regular people in unusual situations. I have heard the rumors that the wave really fired up when the writers went on strike in Hollywood and the big shots needed replacement ideas. I don’t know if that is really true.
In any case, we have them and we seem stuck with them. I can almost understand things like “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race,” but they’re not reality shows; they are elaborate game shows. People are doing things for a chance to win money, that’s a game show. The second type of reality show is a situation drama. Going back to probably what was the original, and this is before the writer’s strike, “Big Brother” on MTV, they involve a group of people living together and scheming against each other.
This kind of show is clearly laid out. Every version follows the same pattern, and it is clear the direction that is given. The simple direction is to exaggerate any trait that will entertain the audience. If a person tends to be a schemer they become the biggest schemer of all time. If they tend to get emotional, they cry at the drop of a hat. They can’t possibly be fooling anybody. These shows relate to reality the way that profession wrestling relates to sports. I don’t believe anyone thinks they are getting any insight into someone’s life.
The biggest non-reality TV shows are ones that star celebrities. These are clearly trumped up, no pun intended Donald. People watch Ozzie Osborne stumble around his house mumbling incoherently, do people think this is actually happening? No one takes direction like a professional and these people know how to put on a show.
Think about it logically. They talk about the real lives of housewives in this state or that state. I know there are upper class housewives but are they the norm, are they a reality to most people? How do they relate to the viewer? It is more like “The Lives of the Rich and Famous.” Does it every dawn on anyone that these regular people have Hollywood agents and publicist? Is that what even the rich people in your town have?
In my opinion the worst of the worst are “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” If anyone was wondering what happened to the lost soap opera writers, well they ended up here. Does anyone at all believe that these people are actually looking for love? Does anyone at all believe real tears are shed and real emotion is spewed out of their TVs? What self-respecting man or woman would be one of twenty-five people fawning over one person? Is this anyone’s idea of how to find true love?
If they need material for screenplays, I can give them enough to fill up their seasons; there is no need to resort to the lowest form of entertainment.