Sunday, 21 December 2008

The reality of reality shows

I recently had the privilege to have a conversation with someone who participated in a local reality show. Consider that we don’t really have that many reality shows here, I am sure some of you would have managed to guess which one. Yes, it’s our very own version of apprentice. I think it’s called The Firm or something.

Anyway, this person (let’s call him Jack), quit after 1 episode as the show was taking too much of his time. It takes 4 days of filming for just 1 episode. So if you don’t have an extremely understanding boss, no way you can make it.

Naturally, I asked him about all those drama and how real is the reality show. I am sure you know what I mean, all those bitching and crying and internal fighting, how real are all those stuff. How real are these reality shows?

Jack response was… “It’s reality as in, there is no proper script. That’s basically it”

So, it’s just a show with no proper script? How do they generate all the drama and bitching and crying stuff?

“A combination of casting and editing”, Jack answered.

Apparently, during casting, the production team doesn’t really rope in the best people for the show. But rather, they cast in people based on their personality, personalities that will create the “drama” needed. I reckon it’s simple. Just cast in a jerk, a bitch, a dumb-dumb, a blur punk, an ambitious soul (both male + female), a joker and put them all in a group, you will have the reality you want. Don’t you think so?

Well, taking all the drama aside, I think reality shows somehow illustrate a disturbing element. I think it shows that we are no longer interested in “acting”, or at least we are heading that way. Tears and laughter in an acted scene no longer interests us, we want to see the real thing. We want to see real tears, we want to see real arguments. When there is a struggle, we are intrigued by real suffering.

It makes me wonder, whether we humans will one day move towards real killing. And you know what? It’s all in the name of entertainment…

Impossible? Too drastic? Well, what things are we not capable of?

27 comments:

Bosscat said...

same goes to Donald Trump's apprentice too? hmmm... i wonder...

kyh said...

real killing? that would be complete madness.

vegemaster said...

come to think of it, i think there are already people who enjoy watching other people die. They are known as Snuff films if im not wrong. Thats as close as it can get but who knows, one day a genuine snuff film might be made.

Zawi said...

Zewt,
As long as there are buyers, there will be sellers. It is all business.

ubean said...

real killing...why not? it happened before....a long long time before tv, at places like colosseum.

The Angry Medic said...

That's true man, I never liked The Firm as it was too much of a rip-off. The Apprentice and other shows are also cast not based on qualifications but whether they're good onscreen (ever notice how the "villain" character never gets fired till late? They need him to keep the drama).

Insightful post Zewt ma brutha.

Huei said...

hahahaha

thats y i always prefer comedy! =P

Anonymous said...

go watch "the day the earth stood still" abt human, the destroyer >P

human: r u fren or enemy
alien: im here to save the earth
human: g8, u here to save us
alien: no im here to save the earth
human: u r here to save the earth..frm..frm us!

blackjack said...

There are already glimpses of demand for "real killing". Anyone heard of this show called The Contender?

beetrice said...

LOL...I knew one of the participants on The Firm, as well as one of the "team leaders/bosses" equivalent of Donald Trump - and yes, everything was overly dramatised. They are nothing like what they were portrayed to be on the show.

Voyeurism at its best AND worst I guess...never underestimate man's capacity, whether it's to protect or harm.

Purple~MushRooM said...

Hmm.. didn't know there is a version from Malaysia. How was it? Must be bad... and who plays the boss aka. Donald Trump?

Purple~MushRooM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bongkersz said...

Real killing? Snuff movies? :) We don't have that yet. But for real suffering, pains.. The Contender will be the closest to what we get. Ahaks!

wankongyew said...

The main reason why reality shows were popular is because they were novel when they were first introduced and were extremely cheap to produce for the studios. Judging by the trends in the U.S., the fad has now passed. Reality shows will always be part of regular programming now of course, but it won't be completely dominant as it was once.

j or ji said...

its all about the entertainment and money.

mereka jual drama kehidupan.sama macam drama atau film biasa.

Angie Tan said...

Reality being scripted... Hmmm...

I just recalled something about the mob in Rome (roman history-la). The mob controls Rome, when the mob is entertained, you can do whatever you want.

So, if we're moving in that direction, are we no more than a mindless mob?

Rin said...

Or there are people who are sick of all these drama and so called (dumb) "reality shows" and don't watch them anymore...Apprentice, Survivor, Fear Factor, whatever it is, are so damn boring after (at most) a few seasons...

Why look for TV shows when you've more than enough drama in the real world with all these drama-queens, attention-seeking politicians, terrorists bla bla bla...Life's interesting enough without a TV.

vincent said...

Have you never read/watched Battle Royale??

mistipurple said...

zewt, merry christmas to you and jules. happy new year 2009 filled with joy and happiness and good health!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

a bit far fetched i suppose..wat value do u put on human lives or bodies for that matter?

Faisal Admar said...

lately i found entertainment on tv sucks. i don't know. i rather lock myself in the room and read a book. or if its too bored would call up a friend and go out for coffee. talking about something good, side income maybe.

going to meet my friend this christmas at borders. need to find out more about paris to venice. by train is just RM160? that's cheap ;)

zthon said...

real killing? i don't think i dare to watch :D
but you're right. the entertainment industry is capable of anything.

zewt said...

bosscat - yup... it's all about casting.

kyh - we are... after all... quite mad.

vegemaster - snuff films? that's something new...

zawi - unfortuantely... that's damn true... salam pak zawi.

ubean - ahhh... we are heading backwards... like how i think we are.

the angry medic - that's a good point... the villian is the one who is bringing in the ratings...

huei - which one? friends?

zewt said...

anon @ 22/12 11.39am - that show is crap... but the morale and the spirit is just so powerful.

blackjack - yeah... very close indeed.

beetrice - i guess that's what they called good editing.

purple mushroom - some fellas who cant really speak english fluently... :P

bongkersz - yup... like what blackjack said.

wankongyew - u think so? i think reality talent shows like american idols and the likes are really hitting the jackpot.

j or ji - lebih bermakna kot...

zewt said...

angie tan - unscripted.. sounds like gladiator... hah!

Rin - that is true... the internet and CNN have enough drama already.

vincent - nope... what is it?

mistipurple - hey... thanks! same to u.

constantly craving joe - there are some freaks out there... and a tad in us...

faisal admar - heading to europe for a trip i reckon?

zthon - not the entertainment industry... it's us... humans.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

zewt said...

anon @ 17/12 4.47pm - Go to the Unicorn For Sale Street, It's just a block away from the Dragon For Sale Street. Look for the Store number 77, the seller knows me. You'll get a discount.