Reality television is a relatively new fad in America that is sweeping the networks’ ratings and redefining programming altogether. Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents unscripted dramatic, entertaining or humorous situations, documents real events, and usually features people chosen from the ranks of ordinary people and not professionally trained actors. A reality show provides exposure that people could not get anywhere else; giving non-celebrities the potential to become household names and land opportunities that otherwise may evade them. Reality television often portrays a modified and highly influenced form of reality, utilizing sensationalism to attract viewers.
Each channel has at least five ‘reality’ shows, each targeted at a different age group. We have adventurous shows like Roadies, Khatron Ke Khiladi, and Dadagiri, soppy theme-based romantic shows like Splitsvilla for the youth, and drama-filled shows like Perfect Bride and Pati Patni aur Woh for the ladies of the house. The elderly and religious folks are content with shows like Mahayatra. Intellegent people were more than happy with KBC and other quiz shows, but now the craze for talent hunt shows like Indian Idol, India’s Got Talent, Dance India Dance, etc. have been set for all kinds of audiences.
There are many times where a reality show has no great education in it but there are even times when they teach you a lot and build one’s moral. Reality TV often highlights constant fights or disagreements between groups, which raise the trp of the show. However, some reality shows may even show positive things, which viewers can learn and apply in their daily life. For example, a person can learn about teamwork or be motivated in life to achieve their goals or even chase a dream.
Gerbner’s cultivation theory has best said as to why is it that people’s mentality is changing. It seeks to explain the connection between the programming viewers watch and their perceived reality. “The more people watch television, the more they will come to view the real world as similar to the world portrayed on television and thus perceive a greater real-world incidence of the over-represented entities.”
There are two things about reality shows that attract viewers and generate controversy: the concept of reality or realism and the shock effect. It’s a format that presents ordinary people in live situations and judges their emotions, behaviour or talent. People loved the idea of watching others in real life situations and how they deal with them and enjoying their misery and happiness at the same time. Many times the contestants are placed in unusual position and out of ordinary conditions, which excites the viewers to the core. This is due to the fact that somewhere deep inside everyone, there lies a wish to do something out of the ordinary and this electrifies us and creates an unknown bond with the contestants. This is the basic concept why Reality shows are in demand more than any other TV show.
Reality shows started with a bang and as they were a welcome relief to the mind numbing saas-bahu serials, they became quite popular. Indians are moving away with speed from watching bad daily soaps to reality shows and as audiences they bring all sorts of baggage with them. Such formats usually invoke competition and offer big money as rewards and at the same time it is entertaining as the public gets to watch something different and new and get a break from the daily soaps which all seem to look the same with similar kind of stories.
Most of the reality shows revolve around a particular issue or event that the audience can relate to and connect with the participants and make them feel involved as reality television allows the audience to be a part of the show. Many reality shows allow the audience to choose the winner through a voting system, ask questions, give them chance to be on the show, etc. The interactivity...
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