The Harmful Aspect of Reality TV

Entertainment shows are becoming more harmful to the viewers

The dangers or reality TV are real and can be lasting for many.

Photo courtesy of Coyote Chronicle

The dangers or reality TV are real and can be lasting for many.

Olivia Edwards, Staff Writer

Nearly everybody with a television has sat down to watch an episode of reality TV. With so many shows such as The Kardashians, The Bachelor or American Idol there’s almost always some kind of trashy series to watch at any given time of the day. For someone to say that they’ve never seen an episode of reality TV is almost as ridiculous as the actual shows. With a bunch of rich, spoiled reality TV stars prancing around their million dollar homes with champagne in hand at 9:00 a.m. screaming at each other, it’s hard to see where the entertainment purposes come into play. There’s no true quality behind these productions because anybody could film their day start to finish and piece it together with editing software, yet these shows are able to gain a large amount of viewers.

The Bachelor has produced 23 seasons of the show that have aired on ABC and has created two spin-off shows: The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. With 14 and five seasons, respectively, even these spin-off series are attracting fans. The Bachelor isn’t the only example of this. MasterChef has nine complete seasons and the success led to multiple other series, including MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, MasterChef Junior and MasterChef All-Stars. There are also 44 versions of Britain’s Got Talent that have been adopted into new countries.

Reality TV has come a long way since its first debut in 1973. An American Family was the first reality TV show and was produced by PBS. The Buffalo History Museum states that at this time 65.6 million American households owned a television, but only 60.1% of these TVs had color. Skip forward to 2018 and 119.6 million households have a TV. Tens of millions of people are watching reality TV daily. The television series send out messages with each and every one of their episodes and although the viewers may not notice at first, whoever is watching may later develop similar interests, habits or even a similar lifestyle as the actors.

Many small kids want to be actors when they grow up versus more practical or traditional jobs like an engineer, lawyer or salesperson. From a young age reality TV is brainwashing viewers into thinking that being a reality TV star is a common and stable dream job that anybody can have. It’s a high goal to reach for, but it is risky and can come with consequences such as failure or stress. The blood, sweat and tears thrown into this job can be catastrophic and in some cases not worth the reward. Hollywood is full of harsh producers looking to use their actors to make a profit and yet society rewards these producers by watching Hollywood’s greatest productions routinely. Plus, the chance of making it in Hollywood greatly depends on the person’s lifestyle. According to Cheat Sheet, straight males have a higher chance of making it big than anybody else. By watching Hollywood’s biggest hits, the viewers begin picking up the producer’s morals such as beauty, money and even a certain sexuality is important to be successful.

Reality TV is also where several teenagers may pick up swearing or making inappropriate jokes. These habits can be observed in nearly any show: The Bachelor, The Real Housewives, Survivor and The Kardashians are only a small number of examples. Sexual behavior is introduced in every single one of these examples. When the viewers see that it’s okay for the actors and actresses to carry out inappropriate actions, the audience will start to do the same. Not to mention reality TV is what the producers make it out to be. Producers are able to cut anything from the scene that might show a negative aspect of every scenario. If a Kardashian gets so drunk they fall down the stairs, the scene will more than likely be cut out of the show to make them seem less responsible for their inappropriate behavior. Similarly, these shows are meant to be real, but many of these series are loosely scripted to spark more interest.

These fake, drama-filled series are made to seem like the actors and actresses are rich, talented and happy. They are put together by the producers to showcase the best or most dramatic moments of the filming. The TV network typically only has one hour time slots to air television shows, meaning nine hours of filming someone’s day must be condensed into one single hour. This leaves producers both a purposeful and an unintentional way to leave out parts of the day’s footage. With all the editing software, editors can revise the tapes to make the people look as best as possible. When the viewer sees how flawless the producers made the actor out to be, the viewers will strive to have the same morals: being attractive and having money.

When someone has enough time to sit around and watch every single episode of every reality TV series, then they probably don’t have a full time job or a hobby. Reality TV shows reflect negatively on people’s mental health when the viewer starts to want to become more like the actor, but isn’t willing to get up off the couch from watching TV and attempt to pursue their dreams. It’s easy to get addicted to a TV show or maybe even several at a time. This makes the audience more likely to watch again and less likely to spend time with their friends and family.

Reality TV produces no real purpose other than entertainment.

There’s so much more to do for entertainment than to sit around and watch some brain dead “role models” walk around their homes that cost up to ten times more than the cost medical school. Other entertainment options include going to the mall, taking a walk at the park, skating, bowling, reading, fishing or exercising. Instead of sitting through another lame episode of The Kardashians, it’s best to spend the time doing something more productive that’s better for the audience’s physical and mental health.