In reality shows, contestants are placed in a “reality’ they would not normally find themselves in. This reality is controlled and manipulated by television executives who makes money by getting people to watch their show after carefully picking the contestants for it. That both the selection of contestants and the situation these contestants finds themselves in are controlled by someone else indicates that reality television hardly reflects reality. By looking at the point or plot of these shows, it becomes even more clear that reality elevation is a genre and not a description.
Survive, for example, is one of the longest running and most popular reality television shows. In this show, a number of people are stuck on an island. This is a situation a few people may find themselves in. The show does, however, take its contestants through a number of contests where people are voted out and this is clearly done to create tensions within the group to add drama to the television show. By encouraging conflicts, the show differs from what a normal group of survivors would do. More likely than not, they would value the prevention of conflicts.
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On Survivor, however, feelings are manipulated both by voting habits, by messages from people back home and by rewarding and punishing the different people and groups on the island. Since the show is controlled and manipulated, it cannot be referred to as reality. Big Brother is another of the more popular reality shows. In this show, a number of contestants are stuck in a house for 100 days. Except for the few people who are unfortunate enough to be locked in a house against their will, this is not even close to Ewing realistic.
If people did happen to be stuck in a house for whatever reason, the behavior would probably differ sharply from what is seen in any of the Big Brother houses around the world. For one, while people do say that they forget the cameras after a while, it is probably a little naive to think that they actually forgets them completely. The presence of a camera will in many – but not necessarily all – instances make people change their behavior. Big Brother also manipulates people into doing things they would probably never do in real life.
Once when I flipped through channels, I saw 7-8 adults doing the game musical chairs. This is uncommon behavior for adults. That they did it on television should therefore illustrate the claim that behavior inside the house differs from what we would perceive as normal. If this is correct, it would be a reason to conclude that the show does not reflect reality. The above mentioned issues are common for a number of reality television shows. Finally, it should be noted that reality TV shows are always put together by people in the television business.
Executives are professionals who knows what people wants. When teen nylon 1 TTY to annulated ten contestants Ana 2 TTY to put together the show from hours and hours of material, they end up with the power to make a final show look quite different from what it would have looked like without any manipulation whatsoever. The executives are favored further by the fact that there is a knowledge gap between the contestants and themselves, since the contestants are unlikely to be able to assess the ability to frame something that happens during the filming of the show.
These contestants may also be naive and believe that the executives wants to present “the reality’. The conclusion must be that reality television does not reflect any other reality than that of the executives. The executives have profound influence on every stage in the making of the show, and while incidents during the show may appear to be very real, they are often the result of outside manipulation. The response to this manipulation may represent one form of reality, but it is nonetheless a reality that is controlled by someone else.