Sunday, 22 January 2012

Keeping it real.



I like the idea of reality TV, really I do. It's very name tells what it should do on the tin doesn't it? Reality should have a huge place on TV, with its potential to communicate, inform, inspire and influence, yet I get royally furious with so many of these programmes which just set themselves up as entertainment when what they are really there for is to hold up people for ridicule as a freak show and pander to the egos of megalomaniac 'celebrities', fame hungry media whores or deluded and misguided, desperate-for-attention idiots. I hate the way panel shows offer 'participation' at a price, manipulate opinion and votes and change some poor 'winners' life so radically and so quickly, having created a public that's desperate not for any winning individual but for just the next serving of more of the same pap and who will never have interest in a winner for more than a few months beyond the end of the series, so desperate have their manipulated tastes become for 'bigger', 'better' and yet 'more' of the same crap. Most of I won't watch.

I don't get this modern need for fame and why it's become so important for so many. I see 'stars' with no discernible talent or point and a media industry totally aimed at promoting and celebrating this lifestyle. So many who only feel happy or validated when flashguns are popping and pictures are on front covers of crap magazines, who have 'achieved' fame yet never worked to get the recognition. Why do so many want this instant fame-on-a-plate. Is so much missing in life for so many? Isn't it cringingly ironic that we allow someone like Cheryl Cole, or Piers Morgan to judge talent? I mean - COME ON PEOPLE........

And yet, now and again there are things which make me feel a bit better about the 'reality' side of TV. Some shows are now drawing back from the freakshow spectacle aspect and are coming to the fore with a more positive spin on some of the challenges which face some less fortunate than most; a programme showing extreme weight loss over an extended period of time, supported by an expert who does genuinely seem to care and a production company focused on the subject and the benefits of working hard to achieve something, not the cheap hit potential of an oh-my-god-look-at-them-I-feel-better-about-myself-now programme. A programme with an agenda that's positive, a view that's measured, balanced and even a bit understated.  A programme that stresses it's a long,hard road but it can be done. About time!

Now too I have even found a talent show that doesn't immediately have all my warning bells going off. A dance competition where judges are industry experts with passion for the art rather than mere self promotion. {and who enjoy and respect each other} Where talent is recognised and there's no gawping for gawpings sake but people who may not have a real gift but who have real passion for the subject and not the fame might still make it in front of the cameras to be treated sensibly, decently and compassionately by all. That even celebrates some of the more eccentric sides of our culture in ameasured way. A competition that takes itself and its candidates more seriously. After three years of shows I think it's getting better too. {If only any prize money was invested in building and growing future potential of winners instead of just as a reward}

Oddly I'm hooked on 'Got to Dance'. OK I'm still not comfortable with programmes giving away life changing amounts of cash but that's my opinion and not everyone needs to share it, but I can watch this show and that's not at the front of my mind. I'm amazed by the talent of some of these people - even some of the kids. I'm enthused by the commitment, the work and effort contestants put in and the pleasure they get from it, the bond they create with their partners and the sheer passion they all have no matter what kind of dance they do. I think it's great to watch.



Any one of these have more talent in a scraping from their fingernail than a boatload of big brother contestants any day of the week.

Let's keep it real.

see you later.

6 comments:

Nicky said...

Oh, I'm completely with you on the "megalomaniac celebrity" thing. I despise that kind of reality TV. And I also despise the general public for buying into such crap and allowing them to become celebrities! I too enjoy the more real reality shows that manage to convey something useful though!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

My dance show to watch is SYTYCD (So You Think YOu Can Dance) with Cat Deely. I love that show.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Totally agree about the general crapiness of these "reality" TV shows.
I can honestly say I've bever watched one.
The talent shows are still mostly bloody awfull, but i must admit i did download the one of Susan Boyle, and at first thought wow, what an undiscovered talent.
UNTIL I saw the judges hamming up amazed looks and expressions. These contestants do an audition before they get to the televised portion, so they must have known she had a pretty good voice, so why the surprise?

More pablum for the masses.
*moves away to get bucket to catch vomit*

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Alistair, I share your misgivings about the cash, but MAN, I could sure do with it. Shows like BB leave me cold; Road Crash TV, it seems. Give me a decent documentary or well-written drama anyday. As someone (who may have been me) once said, "The truly illiterate will be those who venerate success over excellence, coolness over education, and reality TV over just about anything." Indigo

Rebecca S. said...

But, but, but...I heard Kloe Kardashian is not really a Kardashian! It was breaking news on the cover of 'US' today.

Seriously, though, I agree. I think there are a very few reality tv shows which have more credibility than others. The dance ones are fun to watch, but give me the new Sherlock Holmes or Midsomer Murders. I get enough 'reality' around here, thank you very much :)

Alistair said...

Seems like we're all pretty much on the same page on this......

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