Chris Moerdyk

Do we care if reality isn't actually real?

2012-01-16 07:37

I get the feeling that the more realistic reality television shows become, the more unrealistic they will be.

With absolutely no doubt now that all our sport and entertainment is marketing and money-driven, will we care that events that used to be real become more and more contrived in order to ensure continued support by viewers and spectators?

Professional wrestling has been honest about it with no pretence about trying to suggest that it isn't all staged and very carefully rehearsed.  A lot of reality TV shows are going the same route – finding it a lot more convenient and economical to contrive rather than to let nature take its course.

The same applies to so-called adventure programmes where we see some guy in really dangerous situations up mountains, battling crocodile infested rivers, stranded on icebergs. Very exciting sure,  but no-one seems to give any thought to the poor bloody cameraman who is not only having to do all those dangerous things too but he has lug a camera around as well?

And what about sport? I can't tell you how many people I know who, despite assurances from administrators, just can't be bothered to watch cricket anymore. And even in rugby and soccer we're beginning to see more and more publicity generating controversy on and off the field.

Referees and line judges playing prima donna to the cameras not to mention intrigue and power play by administrators along with staged tiffs, tackles and grandstanding by players vying for the limelight. How long will it be, I wonder, before commentators catch on and start arguing with each other on air and maybe indulging in some minor fisticuffs in order to boost the ratings?

But, the big question, I guess, is whether the majority of viewers and spectators are purists or simply prone to blood lust? After all, don't the bulk of people who go to the motor races do so hoping for a spectacular accident?

That's the problem with marketing and money you see – it's all a question of pandering to the masses.

And if the world's easily bored couch potatoes want contrived Jerry Springer shows, carefully rehearsed wrestling, blood and guts on the football pitches and rigged reality shows, then that's what they're going to get.

Think about it – just how much of the information highway is already just a figment of the imagination.

- Follow Chris on Twitter.

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Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


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