How Real is Reality TV?

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In today’s world, reality TV shows are popping up everywhere. Over 70 reality shows have been produced to date according to a popular website. The popularity of these shows and their high ratings have attracted many people’s attention and just about every TV network in America now airs some kind of reality show.

A reality TV show has real world people instead of paid actors and actresses. These shows are supposed to portray real life situations and events that affect people’s lives. However, participants of reality TV shows are sometimes willing to go outside of their boundaries and do things that they would not necessarily do in their normal lives, without the cameras following their every move.

Some reality TV participants eat really disgusting, horrible strange things and perform potentially life threatening stunts in pursuit of monetary gain. Other participants are put in a house and expected to live in harmony with total strangers. These participants are usually under a lot of pressure when their characters clash.

Thousands upon thousands of Americans are watching reality TV shows every day. For some people, these shows help them realize that their lives are not all that bad after all. It helps them see that they are not the only ones with problems and dysfunctional lives and families.

Reality TV shows have affected society in many different ways. Some audiences get hooked on these shows because they help them escape their own real lives. The shows vary in theme and material and every show is designed to attract the biggest possible audience. The bigger the audience, the more money the shows make.

Some Reality TV may not be quite as real as we may like to think. Take the case of the hated apprentice contender Omarosa for example. According to a Time magazine article, she may have been the victim of reality TV editors. Some reality TV shows are edited to be dramatic and some quotes may actually be manufactured. Clashes and ugly feuds between the reality stars may be constructed and some parts of the shows may also be completely edited and cut out so they don’t make the final show that people see on TV. Some critics actually charge that reality TV is not so real and that these shows may be far more manipulative than we think.

According to a poll by CNN, 57% of 1016 adults believe that Reality TV shows provide a distorted picture of events while another 23% say the shows are “totally phoney”. The amount of pressure for TV ratings pushes people to make the show more interesting.

When all is said and done, some people on the reality shows say that they were unfairly represented and the reality taken out of the show therefore making the show pure entertainment. However, participants of these shows are given warnings and they have to sign extensive and detailed legal waivers that protect the network from any liability if someone gets hurt on the show.

The increase in demand for these reality TV shows is inevitable and the participants will be pushed to their limits for the bottom line. This happens to be ratings and entertainment.

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