Does “Reality and Fiction television shows” distort Reality?

Reality Television:
Reality television shows are part of the pop culture today. People enjoy watching true people react to true circumstances. But given that these television shows also have scripts and are being manipulated by people behind it, does it distort reality? I believe that in some way, reality television produces and alternate reality capable of changing the audience’s beliefs, norms, and creates a whole new vision of reality. Unfortunately, this vision is a distorted one.
Reality based television shows such as ‘Cops’ and ‘Police Videos’ are based on true events. They show real people and real scenarios unlike fictional shows such as ‘Law and Order’ and ‘NYPD Blues’. These shows have the same theme which is law enforcement and the justice system. The latter has a story written behind it, while the former just exposes what really happens in reality. People are more interested in reality television because it is more thrilling. It fascinates people that they can watch things that really happened. Fictional shows can be considered as misleading by some because it is written to manipulate the interests of the people. However, reality shows are also misleading because they do not set a good example to the viewers. These shows expose true crime and somewhat encourages people to do the same thing. Though not directly implied, these shows have an influence in the subconscious of the people who watch them. Knowing that these are true events, they bring about certain emotions such as fear, lack of security, drive to do the same thing, or even be influenced to do something worse. In reality, these shows incite or encourage more criminal behavior. It encourages people to engage in criminal activities in the hopes of getting the same thrill and attention.
In my opinion, it is important to highlight the dangers of reality TV and what it does to corrupt the minds of the people. Television before was a place for stories. But with the rising popularity of reality television, people are no longer interested in fiction. Who would appreciate good things when people are bombarded with senseless things on television? In reality television, people become famous because of the wrong reasons. People get the attention for their misbehaviour. Back in the day, these kinds of misbehaviour would have been kept sealed inside the closet and punished so that no one else will attempt to do the same. But today, these criminal behaviors are exposed in a manner which people are tempted to mimic it.
People are attracted to reality television shows because it allows them to think that they are the actual participants (Rushdie, 2011). They can imagine themselves in the same situation. They imagine what they would do if subjected to the same set of challenges and they think of ways to overcome it. Many get hooked to these shows and follow one season after the other. But have we ever stopped to think of the negative effects that reality television brings on people? Have we ever looked at the kind of values that it suggests to the audience as a whole? These questions are important because of the vast influence of television. Everything that people watch has an effect in their behavior, belief, and personality. The influence that these shows have “on pop culture over the past decade can’t be contested” (Marikar, 2009). And because reality shows today have become more popular than ever, its effects on the audience’s values must be scrutinized. I believe that being dull and the lack of morality are just two of the reasons why reality television is not that good after all.
Twisted and falling apart – these are the values that reality television suggests. Instead of helping to enrich the society, reality television contributes to the problem.
References: Marikar, Shiela. “The Top 10 Reality Shows of the Decade,” ABC News. 1 December 2009
Assignment#2 Reality and Fiction Television
Does “Reality and Fiction television shows” distort Reality?
According to Kurtz (2007), Reality shows refers to the television programs that present unscripted events in form of a television programs. Some of the famous reality shows include the cops as well as other police videos. Cops are one of the reality shows broadcasted by Fox Theater. It is a documentary series which main characters are the police officer in their line of duty. Currently the show is being broadcasted in numerous cities around the world. There are other shows based on fiction which included law and order, NYPD blue’s. There has been a substantial debate as to whether reality shows and fiction movies are misleading, others argue that such shows incite and encourage criminal activities.
Cops have received several critics from various personality arguing that such shows focuses more on criminal activities occurring among the poor people. These criticisms hold water in it. This is because most of the reality shows unfairly depicts the image of the poor as being responsible for most criminal activities. This is not true at all. Currently as the world converges to a global village advanced means of robbery are being applied. The robbers have gone high tech and there citizens from the so called poor society can not afford such technologies.
To concur with Kurtz (2007), reality shows are not real as the name suggests they are designed to suit a certain theme for them to be commercially acceptable. In other words reality shows distorts the reality. What is being shown on such shows does not reflect what actual ground is. The key agenda here is the business. Business is the order of the day and thus the producer of the reality shows has to edit the show and produce it in a manner that the client will buy it without persuasion. In this case the clients are the viewers and fans of the reality shows. The clients look for entrainment in the shows and therefore the producer must meet their need so as to achieve a competitive edge over other competitors. In efforts to satisfy the needs of the clients the producer distorts the reality on the ground.
Fictional shows present the real situations in an imaginary manner (Choi, 2007). One of the famous fiction television shows is the law and order. Law and order is a fiction legal as well as police procedural drama. There are numerous fiction shows broadcasted world wide. Fiction shows do not necessarily address to the issue of promoting moral and social values within the society. However, majority of the fiction shows are tailored to meet certain objectives. Needless to say, such shows are misleading. Instead of the society acquiring positive values the society acquires positive perception of the vices. These may include vices such as criminal activities, immoral as well as socially unacceptable practices.
Reality and fiction shows incite and encourages criminal activities. These cases are mainly experienced in the process of the society testing the truth of what they see on the television (Huff, 2007). The teenagers and the youths are very curious and therefore, they tend to test what they watch. In the process of testing they find themselves engaged in criminal activities.
In conclusion, legislations that govern production of such shows that contribute to the deterioration of moral and social values should be put in place. The content aired on television in the name of reality and fiction shows should be controlled. This is in order to avoid misleading programs that they distort the reality and incite criminal activities.
Choi, J. (2006). Philosophy of film and motion pictures: an anthology. Manhattan, NY: john Wiley and sons publishers.
Huff, R.M. (2006) .Reality television .Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood publishing group
Kurtz, H. (2007). Reality show: inside the last great television news war. New York, USA: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Rushdie, Salman. “Reality TV: a dearth of talent and the death of morality,” The Guardian. 9 June 2011 .

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