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Reality television does more harm than good (DEBATE)

Posted by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 5:43 AM
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 Reality television has become very popular over the past decade with shows such as "Survivor", "Big Brother" and "The Apprentice" attracting big audiences and making a lot of money for broadcasters worldwide. A definition of reality television is quite difficult but at its most basic it means programmes that show things really taking place, rather than drama or comedy that follows a script. Typically reality TV involves a group of people who are not trained actors being filmed in unusual situations over a period of time. Sport and news programmes are not considered reality TV.

The sheer number of reality programmes is now driving TV producers to create filthier, more corrupt reality shows

Point View:

Reality TV is actually getting worse as the audience becomes more and more used to the genre. In a search for ratings and media coverage, shows are becoming ever more vulgar and offensive, trying to find new ways to shock. When the British Big Brother was struggling for viewers in 2003, its producers responded by attempting to shock the audience that little bit more1. "Big Brother" programmes have also shown men and women having sex on live TV, all in a desperate grab for ratings to justify their continued existence. Others have involved fights and racist bullying. Do we let things continue until someone has to die on TV to boost the ratings?
1 Humphrys, J. (2004, August 28). Take this oath: First, do no harm. Retrieved July 4, 2011, from The Guardian:

Counter Point:

Reality shows are not becoming more corrupt or more filthy. What has changed is rather what the public defines as acceptable viewing. In other words, the gap between what is actually real and what is presented as reality is closing thanks to modern reality programs. And the gap is closing due to popular demand to see reality on their TV screens. For example, the sex shown on Scandinavian episodes of Big Brother is not shocking or unrealistic, it is only unusual in the context of what we expect to see on television. The fact it was shown only illustrates that the gap between what is actually real and what is presented as reality on television is closing. If the proposition has an issue therefore with what modern reality shows are presenting, they have an issue with society at large, not reality programs.
Even if were the case that reality programmes are getting more corrupt and filthy, viewers should take the advice of former U.S. President Bush Jr. and 'put the off button on.' 

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 5:43 AM
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by Momma of 40ish on Oct. 30, 2013 at 6:17 AM
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 I was going to make a post on something similar. I only watch Survivor and have since day one. I also know they say that most reality TV the reality stars who are featured in the shows such as Kate & Jon plus 8, Keeping up with the Kardashians, and others will end up in a divorce and this is proven to be fact. It is that these reality star get big too fast and they allow it to go to their head. I think if they stop all these reality TV and show something more positive or "REAL" such as what real people are doing instead of people who already have money..

Just my opinion!!

And one reason I said this is because CortneyKardashian was quoted saying "why should we care or help those without" when her sister Khole decided to go to a homeless shelter to help out. Reality stars get to the point where they feel they are better than those who dont have it and it is a shame..

by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 6:29 AM
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I liked to watch Biggest Loser and all the contestants had to go through..I tried a little of their workout and about passed out..Was sore for 3 days after...I agree tho, there is an off button....

by Christine on Oct. 30, 2013 at 6:51 AM
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My favorite reality shows (and they're not really shows) are WildEarth and Africam sites on the computer. I get to see nature at it's best and at it's worst in real time. Most of the rest are like trainwrecks. You shouldn't watch, but it's hard to look away. I would not let kids watch most of this and people can be very entitled and nasty to one another. They seem to lack reality themselves.

by Bronze sister on Oct. 30, 2013 at 6:55 AM
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 I think that networks will do anything for ratings and, thus, "reality" TV will do and show anything.  I also think that it does create false expectations for a lot of people, mostly younger ones.  The real truth is that life is never as glamorous as it is depicted on those shows.  The networks who film the shows do get more outrageous people and situations because it's all a ratings game.  Without ratings, no advertisers will buy time. 

A lot of reality TV is actually scripted; my XH had a close relative who was on the Bachelorette.  I don't get the attraction to all of the drama that goes on in those shows but I always just figured it was because I was old and cynical.  Then again...I also get to attempt to reason with college students who believe that Game of Thrones can be used as a model for effective use of power.  I digress...

by Gold sister on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:14 AM
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Reality TV has become my guilty pleasure. But I watch the tame ones like the bridal shows on TLC and home improvement shows on HGTV. Occasionally I watch Toddlers and Tiaras. I used to love Honey Boo Boo but once you realize it's scripted and that it's really just a family that genuinely loves each other, it kind of loses its appeal. I don't and will never watch the Kardashians. Dancing With The Stars is another favorite.
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by Gold Sister -lp on Oct. 30, 2013 at 1:46 PM

I like reality shows such as Survivor but I won't watch filthy ones like Jersey Shore.

by BL on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM
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I don't watch those reality shows.

by Sister on Oct. 30, 2013 at 3:18 PM
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I like to watch Top Chef and Chopped - I can pick up a few cooking ideas & easy to watch in 15 minute segments as that is about all I have time for.

It seems to me some of the more scripted reality shows are just another way to present a story.  It was a new idea at first to have non-actors on TV, but once people start getting used to it, the hype will die down and only a few will continue.  Game shows and talk shows have been around for a long time, maybe they mashed up the daytime soaps & talk shows & game shows to get the evening reality shows. :)

by Nancy on Oct. 30, 2013 at 3:34 PM
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I really don't like reality shows.  I tend to mostly watch the history 2 channel.  I think that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for topics for these shows.  That definitely makes the quality of the offering go down.  They will stay on tv as long as people watch them.  It is sad that people lives are so lonely and depressing that they feel the need to watch these programs.

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:03 PM
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I think Reality TV is getting to the wow factor to see what they can pull off on TV.  I dont watch it except Hells Kitchen and Masterchef I like those cooking shows they are more staged...

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