The Reality of Reality TV

I was on a home makeover show once. When my sister and her husband moved into their home my brother-in-law submitted a tape to help them get their playroom together. I served as the “accomplice”.

What you see me do on the show is all that I actually did. Yep those 3 stokes of me painting the wall was all the painting I did. They wanted to give the illusion that we were actually making over the room but in reality there were a number of production assistance behind the scenes doing all the work.

One segment called for my sister to choose between a treasured item she did not want to part with and a ‘mystery’ item. She was about 8 months pregnant at the time and I thought that was a bit much to make her to have to decide. While they had her away from the house I found out that all she had to do was go with the ‘mystery’ item and they really were not going to get rid of the treasured item she loved. All they needed to do was show it going on the truck and it being taken away.  They just wanted to give the illusion of it being taken away forever. She went with the mystery item and they took the old item and put it on the truck. You see it being driven away. What you do not see it being driven around the block and brought right back.

Ever since then I see reality TV as anything but. I can tell when a dialogue is scripted and when these lunches and dinners are forced. Even some of these friendships are forced. It is like a soap where these two are friends one season then next season it changes. Life really does not work that way. I have never become best friends with someone who cursed me out and tried to physically attack me. However, I find it entertaining. But I do recognize that some situations are real to the individuals and must be hard for them to live out on TV.

Why do these people want to live out their lives on TV? To be dressed and in full make up and hair everyday seems exhausting. To have my husband flirting with one of my cast members or to find out that the father of my children is newly married to someone else just does not seem like something I would want filmed.

I have come to the conclusion that these individuals feel like being on TV  makes them somebody. It legitimizes them. They begin to like the fame of being recognized. No matter how humiliated or pathetic they come across on the show it is all worth it for the recognition. Who would they be without it?

My DVR was filled with reality shows until I realized I got no joy from watching these peoples lives whether it was real or scripted. I still watch a select few but not nearly as many as before. I prefer to spend the time focusing on and enjoying my own life.   Some viewers get SO wrapped up in these shows and the cast members. They take these situations way to seriously and personally. I have read blogs where viewers really get vicious talking about these reality stars. I do not have the time to dwell on the life of someone else. If someone wants to have 4 wives or no longer be Amish, that in no way affects my life.

So I say all this to say that the reality of reality TV is, is that it is not very real. If you compare it to your life your life is much better and much more worth paying attention too. Spend the time and the emotions that you put into watching these shows on your own life. That is what I am choosing to do. Do not take these situations that are sometimes scripted and apply them to your own life and relationships. That is only setting yourself up for failure. These people get a paycheck for these shows, you do not. I have known people to bring what they see on TV into their own relationships. That is crazy. You don’t want to use reality stars as an example. Be your own example and inspiration. Be the star in your Real World!

~Tricia

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