Viewership of Reality Shows

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Every night you come home, totally drained. The mind has stopped functioning. The body has stopped reacting. The ultimate aim is to crash on to your sofa with your dinner, switch on the TV in the hope of something to soothe your jittered nerves.

Earlier there was Big Boss, where Dolly Bindra, Ashmit Patel and Veena Malik spat venom, fought like hutment dwellers and basically crushed your already sucked out brains.

Change channel. Now there is Love Lock Up, where two pathetic lovers are fighting over trifle issues, humiliating and deriding themselves and your sensibilities.

Change channel. Ah, a new reality series, this should be fun. Pooja Bedi grins and enters the house of a middle-class comedian Rajeev Nigam, it’s the Indian version of Wife Swap - Maa Exchange. (At least the producers had some sense of ‘originality’. Or it would’ve been called Biwi Exchange! )


Some of these reality shows are talent hunts, game shows, celebrity shows, documentary-style shows, makeover shows, or some of them are just plain voyeurism personified. However different their concepts might be, all the reality shows, intrinsically run on the same path. They put ordinary people or celebrities in real-life situations and allow peeping toms to enjoy the thrill of watching them!

Reality shows in India date back to the Channel V’s talent hunt for making of a musical band. The band of girls called Viva that emerged from this show enjoyed short-lived popularity but marked the beginning of reality shows in India. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati, which was the Indian version of Who wants to be a Millionaire, was a major hit with the audience in India. What followed next was a flood of reality shows, many of them being adaptations of the pre-existing western versions.

Reality shows in India are a welcome break for many of the audience who were tired of cribbing about the Ekta Kapoor's saas-bahu series that were (and some of them still are) pre-dominant on Indian television. Indian Reality TV is however in its nascent stage and mostly includes desi-versions of the reality shows abroad.

Effect of Reality TV on Viewers:
Viewers of reality television who are addicted to these daily programs often get deeply involved into any situation. Often, certain reality television shows are based on topics that have no thought process or concepts. The audience thus gets hooked on to TV shows, which do not really have any intelligent concept. For example, reality TV often highlights constant fights or disagreements between a group and even telecasts certain moments not suitable for viewing for a family audience. 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.

Effects of Reality TV on Participants:
The positive thing about such shows is that contestants get a chance to voice their opinions and showcase their talent, which depends upon the theme of the show. While some enjoy celebrity status, others fade into oblivion. Instant success upon winning a reality television show gives talented people a much-needed break. But instant success is a thing, not everybody can deal with. While some cash on to this success as they believe in making hay while the sun shines, others allow success to inflate their egos. Participants that only bask in the glory of their success and allow it to impact them negatively often indulge in outrageous behavior in public and even break laws. Sometimes, certain participants who do not achieve success even tend to go towards depression.

Do producers actually create situations that leads to controversies, heartbreaks only to get the TRPs shoot up??? The reality about...
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