Do Reality Shows Really Show Real Life?

This Big B File is about all of those “reality shows we see on television every week (except for when they are on Hiatus). and whether or not they really do imitate real life.

Reality Shows

    You might have heard of shows like The Amazing Race (CBS), America’s Next Top Model (UPN), Hit Me Baby One More Time (NBC), The Surreal Life (FOX), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC), Fire Me, Please (CBS),The Bachelorette (ABC), The Restaurant (NBC), The Biggest Loser (NBC), among others.
       You might wonder whether these “Reality Shows” really imitate what it is like in the real world i.e. where you and I live and work every day. For the vast majority of the shows, I would say the answer is…NO. Where in real life do you see people wanting to take a job with the sole purpose of geting fired the same day? Where in real life do you see “10 strangers…live in a house outfitted with 28 cameras and 60 microphones to record their every move 24 hours a day”? Where in real life do see 25 eligible bachelors compete for the hand of one woman in mariage using ANY MEANS NECESSARY…Including stabbing someone in the back (figuratively speaking) and deception?
       The questions I asked in the last paragraph I believe are valid. I do not know of anyone that would go for a job, let along being hired for a job, with the sole intention of being fired the same day or one, two, three months or years later…nobody would! Nor would I want to be stuck with 10 strangers and simultaneously have 28 cameras and 60 microphones capturing everything I say and do 24 hours a day seven days a week. The setup for Big Brother cannot be found anywhere in real life.
       Having watched a number of the reality shows over the I have always wondered “Where in real life are thesse shows based?”, “How do these shows reflect, resemble, and/or imitate real life in any way, shape, or form?” In most cases, I am simply unable to find any resemblance to real life in any way, shape or form.
       However…there are shows that Either surround themselves in real life or give those of us a glimpse of what it is like to apply for a job in and work for a major corporation.

 Reality Shows That DO Reflect Real Life…

         Even though there are reality shows that in my opinion do not reflect real life, there are shows that do reflect real life (or al least gives us a glimpse of what it is like in the real world. Some of those shows actually change people’s lives for the better.   Below are examples of reality shows that really do reflect what is like in real life and/or have made profound changes in people’s lives for the better….

EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION (ABC) – In a race against time on a project that would ordinarily take four months toachieve, a team of designers, 100 workmen and even the neighbors, have just seven days to completely renovate an entire house — every single room, plus the exterior and landscaping. Along with Ty Pennington, the other members of the design team that work their creative magic on the homes are Constance Ramos, Preston Sharp, Michael Moloney, Paul Dimeo, Tracy Hutson, Eduardo Xol, Ed Sanders, and Paige Hemmis To get the job done, they’re going to have to cooperate with each other — a hard thing to do when they don’t always even like each other. Tensions flare as tastes are disputed and the deadline approaches … can they get the job done?
THE APPRENTICE (NBC) – The third season of NBC’s Apprentice has a new twist, there are already two teams, “Street Smarts” and “Book Smarts” (AKA Team Networth and Team Magna). They will go head to head to see which team is smarter. In the end, there is only one question, “What team holds ‘The Apprentice’?” Each week, they will endure rigorous business tasks while living together in a hip Manhattan loft apartment. Prominent Fortune 500 companies were enlisted to participate in many of the tasks. The tasks will test their intelligence, chutzpah and street-smarts. They will face the challenges of living in close quarters and must complete sometimes humorous, but always difficult, job assignments and will be forced to think outside the box in order to outshine each other to get to the top.
AMERICA’S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK (FOX) – AMERICA’S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK takes on the nation’s hottest crime issues. This crime-fighting program focuses on capturing fugitives, protecting victims and empowering citizens within the criminal justice system. The series also takes an in-depth look at laws that harm victims, champions the cause of lawmakers fighting to protect victims’ rights and presents news of recent captures, convictions and missing children cases. Since February 7, 1988, America’s Most Wanted has captured 840 dangerous criminals, and recovered 41 missing children.

AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS (ABC) – ABC’s longest-running comedy series. The show began with original host Bob Saget (Full House). The series was an instant sensation on Sunday nights and ran for seven successful seasons. The show was re-launched with new hosts John Fugelsang (a stand up comedian with a one man show called Junk Male) & Daisy Fuentes (Loving), with a new hour long format, and moved to Monday nights where it would once again become a ratings success and then aired on Saturday. Then, after several years of being shown as an occasional special hosted by D.L. Hughley (The Hughleys) and Richard Kind (Spin City), ABC brought the series back on Friday nights with new host Tom Bergeron (Hollywood Squares). In September 2003, it was moved back to Sunday nights. Once again, the series has become a success.

– Show Information Courtesy of TV Tome.

        The reality shows America’s Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the Apprentice, and America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back illustrate that the term “Reality Shows should be much more narrowly defined than it is now. I believe that it should be be defined to mean that it either reflect real life or effect real life in ways like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, This Old House, and America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back does now


        That’s the Big B File. Click on “Comment” link below and tell me what you think…I’m Bryan Hewing.


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