Spare us from this unreal reality

By Kate Stewart

4 comments
Kate Stewart
Kate Stewart

I don't know for sure, but I'm probably one of the very few who have never kept up with the Kardashians.

Not even sure I am spelling the name right.

Reality TV has certainly become an incredibly popular genre and, in some cases I can see why, but sadly, in reference to last week's rant about extremes, our screens have now become so over-saturated with these shows that we are virtually choking on cooking competitions and becoming obsessed with obsessive-compulsive disorders. It's ironic really. So much reality that it has become unreal or even surreal.

We all know it's mindless drivel, carefully edited for maximum effect on a minimum budget and I understand, compared to a conventional TV series, it's cheap TV to produce. But sadly, with its rise in popularity, the actual content has become just as cheap, not to mention tacky.

We are seeing more and more dirty laundry aired in public, drama queens and divas, not to mention tantrums, pure rage, acts of violence and public humiliation.

And yet at the same time we are wondering what has happened to the moral fibre of our society.

Like I said, it's easy, mindless viewing and, for the length of the show, we get to escape our own reality and see how other people live and it all seems perfectly harmless. In fact, some of it can be entertaining, but when is enough enough?

Another gripe I have with it is how repetitive it all is. It's the same old scenarios played over and over with a few minor changes to the detail. If they're going to keep churning the stuff out, at least change it up a bit.

Even the more serious reality shows featuring paramedics, police and life-saving flights have all become a bit ho-hum. The overly dramatic voice-overs trying to convince us that a fairly ordinary and commonplace illness or injury is far more dire than it actually is. Or we see the same old scenarios played out on beaches, where idiots do the very things they're warned not to do and then expect charitable groups and the New Zealand taxpayer to cover the bill to rescue them. If the aim is to invoke sympathy, concern and compassion then they are going about it the wrong way. I sit there in the safety of my armchair and think to myself, "they should let the bugger drown". I'm quite sure I'm not alone, truth be told.

At the other end of the reality spectrum, we have shows about Housewives, from virtually every state in the US, all competing to show us how classy and lady-like they are while they get drunk and stab each other in the back. I'm not so sure, but sometimes I think the comedy genre might be a more fitting classification.

With our own Masterchef preparing to serve up its latest offering, I'm bracing myself for the now familiar, highly emotive "back stories" and crocodile tears at the auditions and judges' tables.

I'll bring the cheesecake if someone else can provide the violin and tissues.

For the supposed lack of scripts and planning, it just amazes me how predictable all these reality shows are.

Sure, there is always the option of not watching or changing channel, but with the way the networks programme, in order to compete, you change stations to see the same concept in another form.

The real reality is we don't have much option, Sadly TV viewing in New Zealand is in a bit of a sorry state. The channel is not the only thing that needs changing.

Unchanged also, is my email address, investik8@gmail.com. Drop me a line, any time, always happy to get your feedback.

Kate Stewart is an unemployed, reluctant mother of three, currently running amok in the city ...approach with caution or cheesecake.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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