Whether we watch a group of people live together in a house (big brother), or watch them build the house (the Block), reality television exposes that little peeping torn is all of us. Reality TV satisfies that instinct of perving into others lives, and the reality of reality television is that as humans we enjoy this. Reality TV is not much different from normal programs, like any program, reality television has the essentials, it has a mix of characters, it puts those characters in situation, and the result is usually a failure or success. But the catch of reality television is that the characters are real people, the story is not scripted, and with any failure or successes comes emotion. But does this reality TV revolution present the viewers with real life? Or does it present what the TV producers want the viewers to see?
Reality TV is built on the foundations of exposing and exciting human emotions. In this aspect reality TV has successfully portrayed human emotions. The cameras have captured all features of being humans. For example Survivor consists mainly of emotions associated with survival, leadership, the failure and success as co-operating as a team. The cameras have successfully conveyed to the audience all these emotions, and the stories connected with these emotions.
There is no doubt that reality TV presents the viewers with small aspects of real life. Reality TV provides the viewers with true conflicts and emotions that have been felt. However, in the attempt to portray all traits of real life, I believe reality TV often fails. There are many contributing factors to this failure.
There is the reality that like any show, reality TV’s goal is to obtain and keep viewers. With only an approximate hour of television each week it is difficult to include all stories. Therefore storylines and parts are often cut out, edited or deleted. This not only helps by keeping the show to the hour, it also is used to obtain the most interesting show. By doing this TV stations secure viewers and can get more advertising money. The result is we don’t always hear the absolute truth to any story.
Some aspects of reality TV are cut because they threaten our idea about a character. For example in Big Brother there may be a character that is disliked and is receiving many phone votes. Big brother would not like to show a good side of this character because it may sabotage the phone votes; therefore to secure money Big Brother will only show footage making the character seem bad.
There may be a major dilemma in a situation, this may cause the cameras to neglect other parts of the situation, and therefore we are not receiving the full story.
With many barriers forbidding the truthful story to be told it is unlikely that we are ever receiving the full story. If we are not receiving the truth then what is we receiving?
In my opinion we are receiving a carefully planned story edited from the actual events of the reality TV show. A story containing events that have happened, hut have been changed) and/or edited by producers. The reason for this action is that we viewers may be bored by the reality of reality TV. To keep these viewers, producers must consistently present us viewers with the interest of lights, tears and argument. This is why the addition of tasks/challengers are Introduced, because in a task, failure and success are apparent, and with failure and success are emotions. It is these emotions that obtain an audience.
In conclusion, it is my firm opinion that reality TV presents scenes that are not representative of normal life. We are not often confronted by the opportunity to build a house (the block), nor are we required to guard a watermelon orb (task from big brother). These are merely additions by producers. But where it fails to show reality scenes, it makes up with reality emotions. It captures these emotions and exposes them perfectly, connecting the contestants with the viewers by a sharing of common emotion.