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Has the Trend Toward Reality TV Improved the Quality of Television Shows?

By Edited Nov 16, 2013 0 0

Has the Trend Toward Reality TV Improved the Quality of Television Shows? Are you for real? The question to such a question has to be a resounding NO. Here is my opinion, on the matter.

If mainstream television in the UK is anything to go by, Reality TV has actually had a detrimental effect on the quality of the programs, which are offered to the viewer. It was not that long ago that, British television seemed to go through a phase of showing nothing but repeats. This could be annoying but often the programs were at least substantial and worth a second look.

These days current trends seem to dictate that Reality TV is constantly on offer. With reality, and talent, television shows in the UK, such as Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of here, Castaway, X Factor, Xtra Factor, The Family and so many, many more, the standard of viewing available has dropped considerably.

In the case of celebrity reality TV all the programs seem to have done is resurrect the careers of second rate celebrities and performers. Many of these would fall into the category of "has-beens" anyway. The contestants concerned were often nothing much to write home about, even at the height of their fame, and now, with age and being somewhat old hat, they are often simply embarrassing to watch.

Non celebrity Reality TV has made stars out of the most unlikely participants. With their inane drivel and often poor intelligence these new celebrities leave a lot to be desired. I guess though that this is part of the appeal to those that love reality TV. Perhaps viewers feel that they can relate to the participants and maybe, even the fact that they are often a little dumb, helps the viewers feel rather superior.

Of course, it could just be that these foolish participants provide much welcome humour in these worrying times, with their silly antics. For me, though, shows such as Big Brother, hold no appeal. If I want to watch a group of ordinary people, going about their day to day life, I can watch my neighbours. I know there is more to these shows than that but, even if we just consider the humour, what was so wrong with watching a comedian entertain us?

The other problem with all of these shows, in the UK, is that there are just so manyof them and they are repeated over and over again, having additional shows on digital channels. This means that not only will Big Brother dominate mainstream commercial TV, when it is running, but Big Brother's Little Brother will also dominate the corresponding digital channel. Flick onto one of these shows by mistake and, depending on the time of day, all you may see is all of the "house-mates" asleep in their beds. Well, "Big Deal" is all that I can say.

Without simply listing the many negatives regarding such programs, and delving into them in minute detail, it is plain for all to see that shows such as these offer cheap entertainment. They may appeal to some. In fact they may appeal to the masses but that does not mean that they have improved the quality of television programming.

Compare reality TV, to shows such as:-

Is it reality?


Classic comedies, such as, Fawlty Towers and Porridge.

Great drama series such as, I Claudius and Brideshead Revisited.

Sherlock Holmes.

Classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Oliver Twist.

Musical past masters like, The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Current musical masters such as, Later with Jools Holland.

David Attenborough's Life on Earth.

- and today's reality shows will be lacking in every sense.

Perhaps in some countries reality shows are an improvement on their usual situation comedies, documentaries, plays and dramas. If that is the case then I feel truly sorry for the viewers.

I suugest that we accept reality shows for what they are. In general that is rubbish. Hopefully they will soon have had their day. When they were first produced these shows often appealed to a younger audience, who were looking for something to watch that was new, fresh and original. Now that these shows have the added negative of becoming rather jaded perhaps they will soon die a death and slip away.

I for one, hope so.
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