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Why Does Everybody Always Trash Reality TV?

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

It’s true that it’s impossible to act natural when a camera is in front of you, and that’s a limitation of the genre. But the goal is still to tell a story about reality, whereas for reality shows the goal is to create a story based on reality.

Yeah it’s kinda ass-backwards, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t that what improv is??

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Except that improv actually is an art form. And the artifice is acknowledged.

ZED

about 2 years ago

I suspect that the people producing the shows are at least aware of the issues their shows raise about humanity

The producers, such as Bravo’s Andy Cohen, may rationalize it that way, but if they do they are full of shit and still slimeballs.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

about 2 years ago

whereas for reality shows the goal is to create a story based on reality.

Hmmm… I would definitely disagree their. I’m not sure what their goal is, but it’s definitely not to create a story based on reality!

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

It’s to make money!

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

And to spend as little as possible doing it!

Returns returns returns!

Drunken Father Figure of Old

about 2 years ago

It’s to make money!

Ok fine, but, as we’ve discussed before, that doesn’t totally invalidate everything associated with it!

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Yes it does! In this case, it really does. If the work was better, and they made money doing it, fine. But the work sucks! And they keep going with it — why? Because it makes money! Not because it has some sort of deep meaning. Come on.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Dude — there’s no intellectual intent in these shows. There just isn’t.

ZED

about 2 years ago

Some people consider reality tv as a new form of narrative, blurring both performing and drama in a modern way, but even if that’s so I still don’t really care.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

In order for a point to come across, there has to be some creativity to it, the people or person making it has to craft it. Pointing a camera at a bunch of narcissists doesn’t even cut it on the documentary level because there is no author behind it making some sort of viable statement about what is being seen.

Every documentary is crafted. There is always intent behind one.

Are you saying that the makers of these things are trying to teach us some lesson about these people? Really?

If you start thinking about implications, I can guarantee you that that is not what the audience who watch these shows do. They just revel in the freakishness of it. These shows are not geared toward a thinking audience. You can tell!

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Some people consider reality tv as a new form of narrative, blurring both performing and drama in a modern way, but if so I still don’t really care.

Well if that’s the case they should make better shows that make a case for this “new” form of narrative.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

about 2 years ago

Oh gosh… I really don’t understand the vehemence against these shows. I mean, yeah, there vapid, but how are they any worse than most other stuff on TV? That’s the thing that bugs me about the God Bless America movie – the people don’t even give any consideration to reality tv just because it annoys them, and that is something that I find dangerous. And really, what’s wrong with watching annoying people doing stupid things? I know I’m just getting myself into more trouble here, but isn’t that at least part of what cinema verite’s all about? Maybe not specifically rich, stupid socialites, but isn’t it about watching people do what they do?

What I’m saying is that, yes, it’s annoying, and no it’s not great art, or maybe it’s not even art at all, but maybe, just maybe, there could be a producer behind it who’s doing something intelligent. In the case of the Hills, there certainly was… let’s talk about that!

Anyway, this is how the reactions on this thread make me feel:

(thanks Ben!)

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

People are passionately disgusted by these shows, DFFOO. There’s nothing dangerous about that. Nobody is advocating murder or censorship.

I haven’t seen The Hill, so I’ll bow out at this point.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

about 2 years ago

Nobody is advocating murder or censorship.

Lol you haven’t seen the God Bless America trailer, have you? :)

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Nope.

Is that what they’re advocating — that people murder or censor the makers of reality TV? Well that’s taking it a bit far. A little too real.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

The solution would be relegate all these shows to a specific channel.

And then make better versions of this combination of reality/fiction with real actors and writers.

Drunken Father Figure of Old

about 2 years ago

Yeah the main characters just go on a killing spree, first by killing a reality tv star (modeled, I think, on Kim Kardashian), and then kill people who take up two parking spots, talk in theaters, etc. I don’t think they’re seriously advocating murder, but I still think it’s a dangerous sentiment. And I do think reality tv does have some merit.

Z. Bart

about 2 years ago

I’d choose TV’s The Bachelor over Hong sang-soo’s The Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors any day of the week.

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

Well whether it has merit or not (I will concede that it’s a format that might be worth exploring, but not in the way it’s been done right now), it’s out there and we have no choice about the matter. Which is normal.

The Bachelor? Yikes.

I’ve never seen The Virgin etc etc but my guess is that you found it vomit-worthy, Z. lol

odilonvert

about 2 years ago

“being done right now” ugh I wish I could edit with this damn old browser… apologies…

Two Plus Two

about 2 years ago

I do not have a TV. When I had a TV I loved reality television. It doesn’t matter that these shows are filled with forced plots and manipulative editing and interpersonal conflicts encouraged by producers. All that does not distract from the fact that real people are interesting to watch, even in manufactured situations. The finale of the first season of Survivor (US) was particularly wonderful as a shoddy morality play. “Super Nanny” was fascinating (I am afraid of children, so you it was real “popcorn viewing” for me) I also think Reality TV sheds light on how far “acting” and “writing” is from truly capturing the subtle uniqueness of individuals. Is it … trash culture? I guess. But it IS interesting to me.

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

I like a number of reality shows; some are instructive, some are violent

the thing I would point out here is most scripted shows are bad because they are false and a lot of reality shows are interesting because they are false.

Reality wins hands down for me, the celebs are more interesting (Johnny Hollyday was on Rock of Love) and the reality vixens are hotter and dirtier than any one on scripted tv

Dzimas

about 2 years ago

Well, Drunken Old Dad, I don’t what you expect to get out of this thread. Really, can there be a serious discussion about the Kardashians. They simply represent the American obsession with celebrity in whatever pathetic form it takes.

The Beales are about as far apart from the Karashians as you can get. I don’t even know how you can draw such an absurd comparison. I assume you were only trying to provoke, just like your ridiculous comment about 8 1/2. Christ, to even mention those two great films (three really) in the same discussion with the Kardashians. Arggggghhhh!

HAL 9000

about 2 years ago

@Drunken I think there are SOME good reality TV shows, but not a whole lot. I’m thinking of ones where there are people who are actually talented and are very good at doing things. Take for instance the show Shark Tank. On that show, a person pitches a product or service to a bunch of business people. They give them a stake in their company for some money and help with getting their product out to the public. I find that show to be worthy of not being a waste of time, rather than something like the Jersey Shore, which I have only seen small clips from featured on other shows. There are shows like the Apprentice, where the teams have to work on projects to move up towards being hired in Donald Trump’s company. Or, speaking of movies, there was a show a while back on Fox that was called the Lot where filmmakers made short films and were voted off week after week until one got a contract to work with Steven Spielberg. The other one I’m thinking of is Last Comic Standing where comedians competed against each other every week and were voted off by an audience on the show and towards the end by viewers. And last, let’s not forget American Idol which have launched some good singers as well. Most of reality TV though I couldn’t care less for. Sometimes, I might have watched a bit of the Batchelor just out of curiousity. It’s sort of like watching a train wreck. Speaking of train wrecks, I used to love watching American Idol when a season would first start off just to see the bad singers, because it was pretty funny. But generally, I don’t care for reality TV.

Jirin

about 2 years ago

@DFFOO

The goal of reality shows isn’t to represent something factual that happened, it’s to invent a melodrama loosely based on observation of non-actors in manufactured settings.

And actually, I don’t think it’s worse than most television. If somebody held a gun to my head and told me I had to watch either Jersey Shore or How I Met Your Mother, I’d pick Jersey Shore. So much better writing and acting.

@Hal

The thing about Last Comic Standing is that so many of the comedians were talented, but the winners were always the blandest one of the group who only tells race jokes or fat jokes or something, so it was hard to watch the results without getting pissed. Alonzo Bodden was the only deserving winner, and all the women always got voted out immediately even if they were one of the best of the group.

The first few seasons of Apprentice were really interesting, but then the show became more about the drama than the business tasks, and Trump started just automatically firing the project manager every week, so the show quickly got boring and then became the unwatchable ‘Celebrity Apprentice’.

American Idol I could never watch because the focus is more on the judges insulting people than music, and the singers were more about image than talent. I do enjoy The Voice though.

I agree the reality shows about actual talented people seem interesting, though I don’t usually watch them. Ice Road Truckers looks like something worth checking into, and people who are into something specific like cooking or antiquing have a lot of good options.

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

Celeb Apprentice is WAY better than its original incarnation

It is fascinating to see entitled people so out of place and hopeless

Jirin

about 2 years ago

dp

Jirin

about 2 years ago

Maybe if they picked good celebrities instead of obnoxious drama queens and disgraced politicians. ;)

Dennis...Brian

about 2 years ago

see I never would have known that lou ferrrigno is a one trick pony who is very much of a snitch and has a huge chip on his shoulder or that Lisa Lampenelli does not feel the need to be funny when off a stage or that Penn is not cynical much but really kind of a guilt ridden humanist.