Thursday, October 20, 2005

Reality TV

What is it about reality TV shows that make them so popular? I have to admit that I watched the first two seasons of survivor religiously, but that was it. What are they up to now Survivor 23 – The Manhattan Jungle? Reality shows have taken over good programming, ok good may be to giving of a word.

The show that I would like to talk about is Extreme Makeover – Home Edition. When it first aired, the makeover team would take the existing house and improve on it, great concept for apparently worthy candidate’s right? NO, it got boring people didn’t want to see improvements; they wanted to see demolition, which in today’s society makes a heck of a lot of sense. Now the improvement team takes down the entire house and builds a new one in its place. The last preview I saw had them take down the house with ropes tied to a bunch of horses, hah, yes horses, not the truck kind of horses, the four legged kind. What’s that all about?

What really has me questioning this show is the position they put these lucky makeover winners in. The Network usually awards the makeover to a poor family, a family that has special needs children, a family that has 24 kids living in a two bedroom, a family that has adopted 37 kids from some third world country, a family that has been hit by the loss of one or both of its parents, OR a poor family with 61 kids some with special needs who have been adopted from some third world country living in a two bedroom and the mother or father died.

I’m wondering what these families are thinking when they get their first tax or utility bill, considering the “Wonderful Improvement Team” took the 2 bedroom, one bathroom, run down shed and replaced it with an 8000 sq ft, 15 bedroom, 12 bathroom, good lord gourmet kitchen, backyard pool, plasma screen TV on every wall HOUSE (which was built in a week; I have some construction questions). The reason these people have the kind of houses they lived in was because they couldn’t afford the later house. I agree that some of these families need help, but to put them in a position of failure sure won’t help them in the long run, it’s like putting a band aid on gun shot wound to the chest. Building a house that is fit for royalty doesn’t solve any problems. Maybe a little remodeling, and whole lot of savings with trust funds for education and special services would help a bit more, but I guess that wouldn’t make for good TV.

I’m interested to know how these people are doing a year later. I’ll bet these families are back to where they started or maybe worse off, having sold their beautiful house to pay their debts and trying to keep the last of their dignity and self esteem.

It’s a TV show that was put on the air to bring in ratings at the expense of people that have fallen on hard times. It’s not about the people.


Kim Ayres said...

Reality TV dominates a large amount of UK TV too, and has been the focus of much criticism as an example of "dumbing-down" television.

Like soaps, I don't watch them. Too busy blogging...

BStrong said...

Hopefully these reality TV shows are just a fad and will soon disappear. What will the networks think up next to replace them?

Paula said...

I actually like watching some reality show. I don't watch them very consistently though because they are quite predictable.
I watched a few of the Tommy Hilfiggar shows and Trump and one Martha Stewart. These people seem so stressed out during these competitions. And they don't really have great ideas, mediocre if best. I wonder what I would be like on a reality show.
I'd never want to be on one though.