Reality Show: Entertainment or Voyeurism?

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Whether you like it or not, they are there: reality shows. Perhaps more than we would like. On almost every television channel, these programs establish the settings such that participants believe that they are in true-to-life situations; that they are within many different "realities". Some of these reality programs include "Big Brother", "Farm", Survivor", "Palace", "Operation Triumph", and many others.

All countries all over the world are exposed to this epidemic. Unfortunately, even the health care sector is unable to treat this disease, not that anyone wants a cure. For everyone in the world, this epidemic is called "reality show", or however one likes to call it. There is no medicament, and no amount of medications can treat it. To escape this epidemic is highly impossible.

The TV is a hotbed and the main carrier of infection, and the newspapers are running a close second. These programs, called "reality shows", are present in almost every television channel and feature them at any time of day or night. Those who have cable television can watch foreign and domestic programs and can compare between them. Big television stations also sell some "new ideas."

But the basic plan is pretty simple. It is necessary to simulate reality and recruit people who are not professional actors and TV hosts, and place them in front of the camera for everyone to see. Seemingly real, viewers enjoy watching and following their daily lives, and it has become a phenomenon and one of the highest-rated programs on television.

When the author of the popular TV reality show "Big Brother", Jon De Mol Dutchman, first offered his program to British television, he was turned down. "We doubt if a program wherein laboratory rats that are locked in a cage are all scrambling for money has a future in British television", he was told. A few years later, "Big Brother" had its debut on British television. It became a regular show in GB, and topped the ratings of other TV shows. People were so tuned into "Big Brother", that they didn't want to watch other shows, even product commercials, to the extent that it drastically increased the cost of advertising space.

Now we can conclude which is the main stimulation factor for the development this kind of shows. Money is the main motive here. Reality television program producers are counting on more income. An example of this is the use of products by people who are part of the reality show house. Also, viewers have to pay when they call or send SMS messages to vote. These programs are such a great way to earn money. According to some research, production of reality television programs costs much less than, example, any drama programs, so it is quite clear that they do indeed earn big money. In Britain, the cost of media production of an hour-long drama program equals about $1.5 million, whereas the production of a reality show of the same duration costs only around $200,000. This difference is pretty big, especially when you know that a must to make a good TV program is to ensure that it will attract viewers and advertising companies.

Basically, "reality show" is a form of voyeurism. Viewers sit in front of the screen and follow the lives of people who they have never seen before, get entertained by them, and even identify with them. Sometimes, viewers even reach for the phone to vote or send a message to the number on the screen for the amount of xx+VAT, and everyone is happy.

Example of a "reality show" program is "Circus Veteran". It is a program wherein a group of people compete for a place in the circus. This show is designed as a contest for a job in the circus, as well as for the love of the audience. Participants have 240 days of feeding circus animals, cleaning their cages, and fighting over the affection of the TV audience. The public doesn't know the fate of the people in the program or whether someone really did get a job. To speak about their profit, it's impossible. No one knows how much money this program make in.

In the reality shows of every television station, there are instances that participants show unfavorable values. Sometimes they are arrogant enough to believe that they are the best, and TV viewers tend to generalize these values and attitudes to that contestant's mother land. Politicians have said that even they need several walls to hide behind from, away from the eyes of the whole world. However, "Survivor", "Dream House", "Big Brother", and other "reality shows" don't care much for the impression they put on its viewers. The most important thing to them is earnings. It's always been that way, and will certainly stay that way for years to come!


One example of new reality show which I watch every day is "Dvor". This article was written after I watched this reality show. Also, I contribute to " Dvor forum ".

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