The True Story Behind Reality TV

Posted by on Jun 5, 2016 in Survival

televisionImage by dailyinvention

Reality TV has been the staple television programming for numerous networks for quite a few years now. Just set up some hidden cameras or a discreet film crew and film. The blend of real life drama and cheap production cost make it a win-win situation for viewers and producers alike.

However, given the instant fame that it brings the reality TV contestants, can we even assume that these are everyday, regular people? And, to heighten the drama, can we trust that the producers won’t manipulate story line?

It can be argued that Mark Burnett created the reality TV phenomena with the grand daddy of them all, Survivor. The concept was simple enough: in a micro environment, who was best fitted to survive the group dynamics and the environment. Logically speaking, you’d think the best outdoor survivalists would win. However, in cases more often than not, it’s the person who best plays the players that win. So is this representative of a real life emergency situation that you’d shun the nicest people and those who are actually capable of fending for themselves in the outdoors?

Stripping down of the external hardships, Big Brother is another non-scripted show that makes you wonder if people really behave this way. Stuck inside a house and bored out of their minds, we spy from the hidden cameras that the contestants have nothing better to do than to plot the demise of one of their own. For this game, the ability to wheel and deal, forge alliances and backstab is the route to victory.

If you have ever noticed, reality TV contestants are also generally pretty good looking. This probably is not a true reflection of the office slobs that the general public has to deal with. However, one thing is for certain, genetically gifted people are given the leg up for at least being casted in the show. The work is probably a godsend for struggling actors and models trying to get a break. And no doubt that they are probably all about getting screen time by creating drama for the benefit of the producers watching behind their hidden spy cameras.

So, is reality TV real, and is it just a microcosm of everyday life? Yes and no. It is a fact that good looking people will get ahead in the world. However, people do tend to want to live in harmonious situations. But all this changes when your livelihood and self preservation is at stake. Once threatened, all civility goes out the window. The situation is the same when there’s a promotion or something else that will help you advance your status in life. Therefore, don’t be surprised by backstabbing coworkers in the corporate world. While the audience can watch the contestants every move with hidden cameras, we don’t have this luxury in the workplace. Maybe reality TV can teach us something after all.

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