Why I Hate Reality TV

Apologies – I try to keep the ranting on this blog to a minimum. But I feel the need to vent today.

I am continually irritated by the ever-increasing number of reality TV shows on television. Big Brother. Various so-called talent shows. That one where people who used to be famous humiliate themselves in the jungle. I refuse to watch any of them. And yet, I can’t get away from them. My colleagues at work talk about them. People I’ve never heard of turn up on TV all the time, as guests on talk shows or on commercials, behaving as if I’m supposed to know who they are. I have no clue, and it turns out they’ve been on some reality show or other. When I read my Metro in the morning on the way to work I skip over any article about who’s been voted off Big Brother or X Factor or whatever, and I also skip all the celebrity gossip (it seems there’s more and more of the paper I’m deliberately not reading these days, but that’s a rant for a different day).

The TV production companies and channels are largely to blame for our increasing diet of reality TV. It’s cheap television. They don’t have to pay any actors and they have minimal production costs – just stick a bunch of annoying nobodies in a single location and leave them to it. People will watch. The shows where the viewers have to vote to get people voted in, or out, are even bettter – that’s always a premium rate phone number and guaranteed income generator.

But of course the people who watch these shows are also guilty of the fact we are fed so many of the damn things – after all, if nobody watched, the shows would get cancelled.

It’s not the overexposure that I hate most. It’s not even the fact that reality shows are generating a society where everyone wants instant fame, without having to do anything to earn it. Once upon a time, you had to have some inkling of talent to become famous – acting ability, or outstanding skill in a sport of some kind, or even just be blessed with the kind of looks and attitute that would enable you to become a top model. Now, it seems, you can achieve fame without any talent at all. All you need to do, it seems, is be on Big Brother or marry a footballer (or do both, maybe?).

No, these things niggle, but they’re not the primary reason I hate reality TV. The real reason I hate reality TV is that it is all about people who are so desperate to be famous they are prepared to sacrifice their dignity, on television, to become so. To me, that doesn’t make comfortable viewing.

Sadly, the viewing figures seem to indicate I’m in the minority with this opinion.


5 comments so far

  1. Rosie Quigley on

    I’m with you on this one.
    Don’t watch them and have no interest in them.
    Fortunately we have enough channels, at the moment, to be more discerning in our viewing. When I watch T.V. i want to be entertained, educated ot enthralled otherwise what’s the ppint?!!!!

  2. Michelle on

    I do watch some of these shows but not usually the ones with Z-list celebrities – just the ones with the Joe Bloggs public. I think part of their appeal is that no matter what misgivings you may have about yourself these are proof that there is always someone far dummer/uglier/lazy etc so to some it may be reassuring. As someone who works with the general public I know for sure that there really is “nowt s’funny as folk” and even at their worst (in fact especially at their worst) the human species is fascinating to observe. These programmes are the ideal ‘people watching’ opportunity. A whole month’s worth of weirdos that you may just happen to notice on the street, on a train etc condensed into an hour and fed into the comfort of your home! Also I admit that, like a lot of people, I am inherently nosey and love ‘ear-wigging’ to other people’s conversations in public places. It is cheap entertainment but often it’s the most mundane things in life that are the funniest, don’t you think?

  3. ralfast on

    I am not a fan of so called “reality” television (or as the Spanish called Trash-TV). I am guilty if watching a few documentary style reality shows (X famous person and their family) but that’s about it.

  4. Jeff Winbush on

    You know the way you hate those reality shows. That’s how I feel about watching Fox News. It leaves my brain feeling soft and mushy afterwards and that bleeding from the ears is no fun either.

  5. Dad on

    why are we even talking about this, when we all seem to agree it is a load of rubbish. Does it put us in the same category as those who say they hate it, but watch them anyway?

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