Posts filed under ‘Reality TV’

TV, not reality!

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

Today’s post is a new direction for me. I have been asked by @LadyMaryan to give my opinions to 8 year-olds on reality tv! This will be a challenge as there is a real danger that I could sound like a grumpy old woman on this one:)

So, my opinions on reality tv? They aren’t actually all bad so I will start with the good stuff:-

  • Reality tv can give those with talent the opportunity to showcase that talent. They may get the career they have always wanted out of this exposure. This applies equally to entertainment, cooking, even assessing antiques!
  • Some shows are highly entertaining and there are some I love to watch. These are more the cooking-type shows like Masterchef, Australian Masterchef, Celebrity Masterchef, Professional Masterchef – is anyone sensing a theme?
  • All of the shows do entertain, some more so than others. I admit that I have laughed when I shouldn’t have done. We all have funny bones that are tickled when they probably shouldn’t be but that is life and we have to accept our naughty side.
  • Some reality shows give insights into professions that we wouldn’t normally see. I am thinking of the shows like Maestro which educated me in an area where I had very little awareness. This was wonderful to watch and very moving to see how the participants reacted to the emotions of the music.
  • Reality tv has always been here. Documentaries are reality tv, news is reality tv. At best it is educational, informative and enriches.

That was the good, now for the not so good:-

  • Most reality tv shows depend on shock value for viewers and ‘entertainment value’. Shock value is what will give you the ‘watercooler’ hype and keeps the show going. The downside of this? For shock value you need shocks and this is generally at the expense of one or more participants
  • Many shows of this type are cheap and nasty; they are low-cost with few if any redeeming factors. They can encourage and even reward aggressive and bad behaviours. I cite some Big Brother episodes; tantrums and rows accompanied by nasty behaviour masquerading as honesty. What example of decent behaviour is that to anyone?
  • The modern reality tv show is not always real. Yes, all the events happen but you are at the mercy of the programme makers and how they edit the shows. Serious people who only speak when relevant can be portrayed as insipid and non-participative. A quiet chat between two people may be shown as back-stabbing. One period of upset may be blown up by editing into an hysterical episode. Even those who feel that they could bring a ‘grown-up’ element to any of these shows cannot be on guard 24 hours a day and may be made to look foolish one way or another.
  • Many of the talent-based shows have encouraged many to think that they will be next. Many emotionally vunerable people truly feel that fame and fortune await. Real life does not involve magic wands and fairy dust, I am sure we all wish it did sometimes. However, what we end up with is people who believe that they are the next big thing and are devastated when it doesn’t happen. I know that the audition rounds for these shows can be very funny but they can also be very cruel and hard to watch
  • Reality tv shows do blur the lines between fame and infamy. So many young people now just want to be famous and what is that? Fame and/or celebrity are not an aspiration, a career in music is. I would plead with all young people to understand the levels of effort and talent required to achieve the latter. A reality tv show may give some a short burst of ‘fame’ but for most this is fleeting and they will fall back to earth with an awful clatter. For me the worst for this was Big Brother; what started as a study in human behaviour in the first series turned very quickly into a voyeuristic look at ego and fragility. I am sure many would disagree with me but on this my opinion is fixed.
  • Lastly, there are so many phrases that I will be happy never to hear again. Examples? This is my life, this is my passion, I am on such a journey, I will give this 110%. I could go on and on and on…….

There we have it, my feelings on reality tv. I will add only one thing, I am not sad that I will not see this gracing our television screens again:-

I do think Davina McCall is a warm and lovely woman but I think that any other programme is a better vehicle for her talents than the above. Sorry Davina but I am glad that it is over:)

As always I will close with the ‘instructions’:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.


October 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm 4 comments


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