Reality shows have become one of the most popular trends on Indian television these days. Almost every channel is airing at least one reality show at a time with such enthusiasm that some of the regular good soaps are being pushed back. People have shown like for reality shows. The TRP touches sky in no time and everyone seems to be generating good output from these shows.
However, there is a considerably large section of people who oppose and despise reality shows as something that would spread like viruses and have bad effects. There are reasons behind all that hatred for they believe these shows are so designed to make the reel appear as real, when most of the part is pre-planned, creating illusions that makes youngsters star struck.
1. Entertainment: The very reason why most of us would be willing to spare a couple of hours after having a hectic day at work, watching a reality show is because we need our daily dose of entertainment and leisure. For some of us who simply want to kill time at the end of the day, these shows are a good escape. One thing that cannot be denied about reality shows is that their entertainment level is quite high. Their TRP touching sky is not just the gift of luck but their entertaining capability. They feature physical tasks and competitions that are fun to watch, not to forget the all too real looking arguments.
2. Recognition and motivation: The best thing about reality shows, especially the talent hunting ones, is that they are successful in passing on a good message that even a common person could get fame and popularity if they are willing to try harder. We have seen stars emerge from reality shows – people who had plethora of talent but were not recognized until a reality show happened to them. Ayushman Khurana, the heartthrob singer and actor might not have been what he is today, if it wasn’t for his Rodies fame.
3. Opening up: Not everyone is expressive and bold enough to open up about their problems and struggle in life. While some always rant about their problems, some are shy and keep things to themselves. For introverts, reality shows have always proved to be a boon. Living with strangers, facing real life challenges makes them come out of their shy zone and socialize with people. Socializing and communicating is an important aspect of a person’s personality which automatically gets enhanced in such shows.
4. Break from life after life shows: Reality shows are the best thing that happened to Indian television. Those lengthy soaps and serials that continued from one generation to another and then to another lifespan were infuriating and boring at the same time. The same stories everywhere in every channel, a tortured daughter-in-law and a sadist mother-in-law made most people abominate television for the same reason. That’s when reality shows came and brought relief.
5. Real life advises: Some reality shows can have therapeutic effect on people. Good morals and behaviors are rewarded while bad comportment and cheating is punished. ‘Interventions’ and ‘Celebrity Rehabs’ are good shows that showed how people could get rid of their addictions and how easy and friendly it can be to live in a rehabilitation center. A similar reality show on Indian television, few years back, showed how obese people could counter their eating habits and lose weight while staying healthy and fit.
1. Not so real after all: These shows that pass for ‘reality shows’ are not so real after all. There are scripted, and create fake situations with such precision that it passes for real. Recently, there was a lot of ranting when Prince Narula won Big Boss 9 with claims from fellow participants about the show being scripted from the beginning and that it was already decided who the winner would be. Deception and fiction is supposed to come from soaps and serials and not from reality shows that claim to bring you things as it happens in real life.
2. Melodrama excess: These days reality shows have also adopted the melodramatic nature of the tiresome saas-bahu serials and they have completely outdone themselves while adapting this feature. Too much added melodrama has made these shows seeming like fiction already. People watch reality shows that has their favorite celebrity out of curiosity of knowing the real life person but what they get is an elaborated and scripted character who makes and breaks her own image just for money. A couple gets married on a reality show all of a sudden and people go gaga over their romance only to later discover that they filed divorce soon after the show ended. Disappointed to extremity.
3. Waste of public money: All those shows like Big Boss that ask for people to vote and save their favorite contestant from being eliminated are simply earning with less budget. People vote in large numbers. Both telecom company and the show gets all the money spent on messaging while the eliminated and the winner gets decided with no involvement of voting count. Aman Verma, who was very much liked by people gets eliminated in sixth week and later opens up to clarify that it was all scripted right from the beginning.
4. Galling effect on people: A guy utterly crazy about a particular reality show, tries to get selected auditioning numerous times, and then names his newborn after the show’s name. How maddening can it get? The huge crowd outside audition centers of reality shows, standing hours in scorching sun and winter fog, is the living proof that these shows have a real galling effect on fans. Some leave their jobs and responsibilities to participate in these reality shows that asks them to live in-house for three or more month without interacting with their families.
5. Abusive language: Those advocating for it to be perfectly fine to abuse in aggression as people would do in real situations are totally forgetting that these shows are watched by children and minors too. They would beep the phrase or word but that only makes children more curious.
Reality shows might not be all that real but they are very much a thing these days. You can hate them all you want but you cannot ignore them. They are popular because they are being liked and getting good ratings from people. If people are irked by these shows they can show their anger by not watching and rating them anymore but that doesn’t seem to be happening since more and more such shows are coming up each month, scrapping the traditional serials for good.
Is it worth watching a reality show?