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2TFX's avatar

Is reality TV a good or bad influence?

Asked by 2TFX (435points) February 8th, 2014

We Talked about reality TV in class this week and if it was a good a bad thing, and we discussed the future of TV

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24 Answers

keobooks's avatar

I don’t think there is much “reality” in reality TV. From what I’ve seen, it’s very edited to make things look more dramatic. I heard some story on NPR that this woman worked on a reality show and she talked about how shots were made to look like conflict was happening when it wasn’t really there. Also, people have come out and were told not to vote certain people off or vote people in as safe.

I think the worst thing about reality TV is that it claims to be reality.

Coloma's avatar

Sure, watching illiterate yahoos catching crocodiles dysfunctional parents with the IQ of a toad stool and emo party animals and all their stupid drama really contributes to the smartening of america. Hey, doesn’t everyone want to be a toothless, obese, backwoods hillbilly? lol

ragingloli's avatar

It is bad, no question. It appeals to the lowest common denominator, and displays a lack of creativity and risk taking on the part of the producers. They can not think of anything worthwhile and smart to make, and they also do not want to spend money on sets, effects, writers, actors, directors and general film making, so they just tape some retarded rednecks doing their shenanigans.
The effect of this is inevitably that the audience gets used to bottom of the barrel programming, they lose the desire for smart entertainment and educational programming, which leads to them losing interest in education and knowledge in general, which finally only contributes to the complete dumbing down of society, in conjunction with corporate mass media propaganda.
It directly contributes to turning the population into mentally retarded slaves.

Aster's avatar

I’m with @Coloma with the exception of The Bachelor/Bachelorette series. Can’t miss those! And I think her description of the shows was quite generous, actually.

Cruiser's avatar

@keobooks nailed it but at the same time reality TV presents a level of voyeurism I think many people including me live vicariously through. I religiously watch the Food Network and their cooking competitions and learn so many techniques for preparing and cooking foods I would never think of ever doing!

johnpowell's avatar

I love it. Idiots losing everything to hunt for gold and going broke doing it is how I spend my Friday nights.

And I know the shit is totally fake. I have never seen a mention of how the Hoffmans have gotten fuel into the remote jungle location. They burn 1000 gallons a day. But it is never mentioned.

pleiades's avatar

The literal answer to your question is no. Schools are set up for you to be able to sift through transparency in society yet to accept certain realities like getting a job for instance to pay bills.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Totally scripted – and BS. I know a guy, a close friend, who was on a show that supposedly sent people out to buy collections. (I won’t mention the show.) He said there were more cameras than he could track. Everyone and everything was videoed from multiple angles. They repeated the opening scene (the greeting) twice. Cameras were set up in advance to record the greeting and he was supposed to appear surprised. They were at his place for 8 hours but the whole scene appeared to be only 15 minutes. There were researchers looking up each item and then telling the buyer about them so he could look like an expert. Even the buying was nonsense. They agreed upon a price for an item and then half an hour later they asked to reshoot the sale and adjusted the price higher. It is all BS.

Berserker's avatar

It’s a bad influence for the people who think it’s real. They’ll watch this garbage thinking that this is really how the world works.
That said it’s probably no more harmless than porn or all that dumbass wrestling you see on TV; both things that don’t really portray the real life equivalents. I say harmless, because you’d have to be a real dumbass to believe everything you see on TV, anyway.

syz's avatar

It is a boil on the ass of American culture.

ibstubro's avatar

I think it’s like TV in general: mostly dross with a few bright spots thrown in.

The competition shows can be entertaining and enlightening, especially. As can reality game shows like Deal or No Deal.

I think the biggest danger is in people believing they are learning when they are not, as @LuckyGuy pointed out. I have an auction house and a scarey number of our customers think Pickers and Storage Wars are real and that they can learn from them. We’ve had people pay real money for stuff they saw appraised on Pickers, and we’ve had people bring us the contents of worthless storage lockers they paid real money for. Seriously, folks, would you go out a wrestle an alligator based on a reality TV show? Take fashion tips from Honey Boo Boo?

By and large, reality TV is cotton candy for your brain: pretty colored fluffy white sugar.

boffin's avatar

The ONLY reality show on TV is This Old House.
When Norm tells you that your foundation is rotted, and its not in the budget.
That is REALITY!

dxs's avatar

Bad. Very bad. You’d think people wouldnt take it seriously but they admire this shit stuff.

gorillapaws's avatar

While on the whole they are absolute garbage, some shows can inspire interest in good/useful/nobles pursuits. Take the Mythbusters for example. Their science is pretty poor, and their methodology is questionable at best most of the time, but I’m sure they’re responsible for getting kids interested in science. They make physics look cool/fun/interesting, and that’s not easy and pretty awesome.

keobooks's avatar

That reminds me. I saw this cool reality show on public television several years back. I can’t think of the name of it, but the premise was to get a group of very smart people together and have them work on a project. I think they worked on teams, but it wasn’t really competitive. The episode I saw, they had people making musical instruments out of vegetables or something.

I wish I could remember more. It was very cool seeing the instruments being made.

Berserker's avatar

Well that also reminds me of one TV reality show that was actually cool, Pioneer Quest. They got two couples, a young couple and an older couple, and their job is to work as a team to survive in the wilderness, like pioneers did when they came here. They start out with some tools and equipment, some chickens and a pig and a cow, then it’s up to them to use what they were given to build shelter and everything. They were out there for a year, and if they managed to stay all year and survive, then there was some prize money to win. Every now and then, they were allowed to go back in town for a day, and they told in the show how awesome it is to use a sink. Lol.
It was interesting anyways, I followed it for a bit.

Yet again, they can’t be all alone out there, as people were filming them, and obviously doctors and medics were always there in case someone got hurt or sick, but I think that they otherwise don’t interfere.

ibstubro's avatar

I watched a bit of the ‘After humans’ future reality show and found it very addictive. I had to stop because I have limited internet usage.

Berserker's avatar

@ibstubro Limited net usage sucks bawls. :(

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I consider reality TV more of “check your brains at the door TV”. when I’m just in the mood to stare at the boob tube and not think much I’ll watch it.

ibstubro's avatar

How very true, @Symbeline, it bites balls.

Having one’s balls sucked is not a bad thing.

The company that installed my satellite dish didn’t even know the usage was limited at that time, and refused any refund when they found out. What an ordeal.

antimatter's avatar

I don’t think reality tv is any good because some of it have absolutely no educational value or moral value.

Berserker's avatar

@antimatter Like pretty much everything on TV.

hsrch's avatar

It is neither a good or bad influnce – it’s simply a freakshow that is presented to make a profit for the sponsor.

lillyhop's avatar

I think is is really bad, because instead of reading a book for an hour we watch what Honey Boo Boo does. I think it also shows all sorts of weird and uneducated people so other people like that are not trying to become better as they see examples on TV that are not even better then they are.

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