Fascination with reality shows is beyond my comprehension. What is it that lures folks to watch others be nationally, and sometimes internationally, defeated? And on the flip side are the astronomical odds of winning the prize on one of these shows worth the effort? For every contestant on the screen how many were turned away in tears at the local level? And these thousands, tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, will watch the next season and laugh at entrants who sing off-key, meet challenges on desert islands, and set their hopes on the deal. But it’s not “real”. The contestants on these shows may be put to a test to see how they hold up but basically it’s Fantasy, for them and for the viewers. As in the movie “The Truman Show”, people are manipulated for the benefit of the audience.
Real is walking on the sand or in the park or through the neighborhood. Real is time spent reading to a child, or tossing leaves in the air to make a toddler giggle. Life is a reality show whether you are making dinner or plans for dinner out. When you drive home through traffic after a day at work it’s real. Making a grocery list or keeping a doctors appointment may be mundane but it’s what happens everyday to real people.
In all the years that these shows have been popular, I can admit to watching about as many episodes as I can count on my fingers and toes, and not enjoying any of them. Does that make me odd? I don’t think so. I’d rather deal with life’s realities than take pleasure in watching the disappointment of others whose hopes were in something that was never there in the first place.
Side note: Perhaps we should learn from the ending of The Truman Show, where he discovered the truth and became his own man, leaving the audience to find their own reality.
3:18pm (update) Case in point; it has been announced that the "balloon chase" was a hoax choreographed by the parents, who have been trying to get their own reality tv show. They may be facing jail time. Now that's real.