Thursday, 4 June 2009

unreality TV

I'm having difficulty starting this post as it is one of those 'am I just preaching to the choir' topics. But I think I have a little more to offer following some recent conversations.

My constantly growing disenchantment with the media has positively sprouted after talking to a couple of people from either side of the reality TV camera.

A friend's sister appearing on Britain's Next Top Model not only allowed a serious amount of banter to be sent his way but also offered some seriously shameful insight into how this programme is made.

The girls were constantly told to up the bitch factor with each other and although too modest to admit it herself my friend's sister was clearly kicked off the show for refusing to get involved, pretend to cry or slag off the other girls.

Apparently one of the girls who has gone very far in the show went in to a room with a producer in a perfectly good mood before coming out in tears (no its not what you think!) before running up to one of the other girls, shoving her and calling her a bitch.

Now while this is hardly groundbreaking stuff, so much of the audience of this show would never stop to think about the behind the scenes and view this as reality. And I think that showing young girls that going up to a perfectly reasonable person and pushing them and calling them a bitch is normal behaviour, is actually quite damaging to society.

Another friend who actually works as production assistant told recently of his exploits on a show where his job is effectively to rile up the people involved. A common problem he faces is getting the camera crew on the scene before their anger peaks.

I guess as all tabloidesque media seeks to push the boundaries be it print, TV or online this is inevitable and being fairly libertarian minded I wouldn't call far a ban on it or anything stupid, but couldn't it just be re branded perhaps as comedy, drama etc the lines are already pretty blurred.