Monday, August 15, 2011


By: Charlotte Makala

Working in the field of entertainment I happen to know that most of reality television is not reality at all. Some ‘reality’ television shows are rumored to be scripted such as, The Hills, however all reality TV shows are edited. Through the process of editing, bits and pieces of filmed reality are selected to form an altered reality. Scientists also believe in a quantum theory, whereby observation alone influences reality. So there is scientific evidence that supports the fact that peoples’ actions are altered due to the presence of a camera, thus further extracting from the sense of ‘reality’.

Many reality programs do document real life events, but is all reality cheap entertainment that verifies viewers as not having a life of their own? What do viewers gain? Many reality programs revolve around the lives of the rich and famous, which many of us are not and other times on dating shows, such as The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

It is pleasing to see audiences take interest in others’ lives but I question whether we, the viewers, have taken it too far. In this article I aim to investigate what viewers can gain from reality TV experiences.

Many reality shows can be educational and motivational, such as; MTV’s Made and Discovery Channel’s Survivor man, yet other shows can be boring and predictable. Shows like The Human Race can bring much excitement and entertainment to the screen. And for those viewers interested in the field of fashion; America’s Next Top Model can be both entertaining and educational. Real Housewives of Atlanta, My Sweet Sixteen and Newly Weds might offer insights to the lives of the rich and famous moreover provide an opportunity to realize the similarities that exist between viewers and Reality Television stars. Simultaneously, such shows offer a false sense of reality because most of the viewers watching have very different lifestyles.

Another evident disadvantage reality television possesses is that of questionable moral values that can be observed on MTV’s Teila Tequila and MTV’s Jackass.

There are many types of reality shows that offer different types of entertainment. As an artist working in the realm of media and entertainment, I can say that reality TV has brought about a new niche of film and art, but as a viewer I find myself questioning, at the end of each reality show, ‘What have I learned in the last half an hour that will improve the standard of my life?’ Most times, the answer is ‘nothing’ other times the feelings experienced during the show are well worth the usual reply.

I just hope I learn how to evaluate the cost and worth of my time efficiently because the reality in reality TV is different than the one that is my own, that I know for sure, because my reality is now. Thus I question, ‘Is my reality worth watching others’ ‘realities’ or worth creating my own?’