The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Reality TV lacking sense of integrity

By Gary Collins/ne news editor

Reality TV, or more likely, reality theater, has been one of the most popular genres in TV for the past seven or so years.

The idea was new and the show was cheap to produce, but originality and creativity seem to be declining.

How many different ways can a show be done without copying? NBC introduced The Apprentice with billionaire Donald Trump. Fox followed with Rebel Billionaire, and in third place was ABC’s The Benefactor, a dull confusing series about people living in Mark Cuban’s house competing for something as one person is voted out each episode.

I apparently wasn’t the only one who thought it was bad because it was cancelled after only three weeks.
ABC was again outfoxed by the Fox network with Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy, which was stolen or “borrowed” from Wife Swap, which itself was based on a British show.

Reality shows supposedly work because of drama and conflict either between the cast members or the cast and their environment. Some say reality TV is not 100 percent real and is manipulated.

Well, duh, one way all shows are manipulated is through the casting process, so obviously people are picked based on personality traits. Some reality shows have been accused of out-of-sequence editing such as HBO’s Project Greenlight, causing cast members to appear foolish and silly.

In the more obviously deceitful show Joe Millionaire, the cast as well as the viewers were told Evan Marriott was a millionaire, but, of course, he was not.

Some series such as WB’s Popstar USA have resorted to lowbrow tactics in order to gain audience.

Popstar, a cheap American Idol knock off, told the good singers they couldn’t sing while telling the bad ones “they were a star in the making.” The joke was on the latter group when in the last episode, they were told, “Oh sorry, you can’t sing.”

The British took manipulation one step further with There’s Something about Miriam, in which six men attempt to win a date with Miriam.

The “something” was Miriam is a transsexual, yet none of the men was told until the final episode. The show eventually aired after lawsuits and a large settlement.

If reality TV wants to survive by using the average person, it better show some honesty or lose both cast and audience.

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