Though Reality TV has an unsavory reputation, it appeals to an ever-increasing audience. Reality shows are the most popular shows in many countries, such as American Idol in America, Britain's Got Talent in Britain and If You Are The One in China. These shows, however, also are extremely controversial. While Reality TV is criticized for not showing real situations and for damaging viewers, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Reality TV is criticized for the reason that there is almost no reality in the shows. Critics believe that the contestants are selected by producers who follow the standard of white, young and beautiful, and that the characters of people in the reality show are simplified. Therefore, watching Reality TV just like watching soap opera, every episode is predetermined. For example, If You Are The One, the most popular dating show in China, is sharply criticized for hiring actors to participate on the program. The producers ask actors to talk about more sensitive topics and to choose the date. Another disadvantage given by critics is that reality TV is damaging to people. Undoubtedly, Reality Television has hyped all the emotions in its participants. A study in Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media found more aggressive behavior on reality TV than even in the fictional world of dramas and soap operas. Some people, especially the youth, may be seduced into thinking that’s the most common way of reacting to life.
These drawbacks given by critics are true to some extent. However, critics just focus on a few of shows like Fear Factor, The Biggest Loser and If You Are The One that have given reality TV a bad reputation. They do not mention the shows, such as Real World, Survivor and The Apprentice, that have positive influence to audiences and our society. Some reality shows have an educational function. They teach viewers knowledge and skills in different areas. For example, in the show The Apprentice one can learn how...
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