Ethics in Reality TV

(WB 11)

My favorite kind of TV shows used to be reality TV. I followed shows like the Swedish versions of Survivor and (American) Idol every year as if my life depended on in, and later on when shows like “Real Housewifes of ….” became the new thing, I watched them too with great interest. I loved it, because they contained lots of drama and suspense, and they featured real people!! When I was about 10, my biggest goal in life was to be on a show like Survivor, I’m serious… Luckily for me, I’ve learned a lot since then and now I wouldn’t even do it if I was offered money for it. Reality TV is the worst kind of entertainment because it uses and exploits real people for ratings = money. Of course, the people all (hopefully) know what they have gotten themselves into, but still, now I just find it painful to watch.

Reality shows aren’t as unscripted and natural as they might seem, there’s a whole orchestra behind the scenes, all there to create the most entertaining aka outrageous drama behind the people as possible, because who’d watch a show where the people all just got a long and played nice? The ethics and moral behind these shows are very questionable; starving contestants, egging them on to fight, purposely revealing things about them for no other reason than to generate higher ratings… But still we keep watching these shows.. Is it really because we care so little about other people, or do everyone know what’s actually happening behind the show – that it’s all FAKE – or do we watch them just because the network keeps producing them and we’ve gotten so used to it by now?

I don’t know, but I am very excited to watch Lifetimes’ new show UnReal, premiering later this spring, because it’s a scripted show about an unscripted reality show! The trailer looks promising, I don’t know how much of what’s shown actually happens in real reality shows, but it’s quite dark nonetheless, and I think it paints a good portrait of what goes in to making a reality show.

Looks quite interesting right?


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