Reality TV: Should we give it the boot?
Season 15 of The Only Way Is Essex has just finished. Half the office come in on a Monday morning excited to discuss the events that occurred on Sunday night. The other half of the office dread the mundane and judgemental conversations which are about to proceed until every detail of the episode has been torn apart. Is this healthy? Do we really care?
Well yes, as humans we are intrinsically fascinated as how other people deal with unusual social situations hence why reality TV is so popular. Reality TV is the 21st century escapism. Sort of like the modern day book – feet up, brain off, Made in Chelsea on. If we truly believe in freedom of speech then we need admit that reality TV is a new way of expressing popular culture and taste – its harmless fun.
However, much of what we watch is mindless drivel and creates pseudo-celebrities, thus degrading popular taste. Is excessive partying and wearing a new outfit every few frames reality? Do we want the future generations to see these people as role models? Some reality TV can also be quite cruel, exposing the “actors” to gross humiliation for our enjoyment. Is this right?
The reality TV debate can go round in circles. As there are so many different types of reality TV, it would probably be fair to say we shouldn’t give it the boot. After all, we can’t be comparing Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire against I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.