Unreality Television

A reality TV show called ‘Love Island’ has taken over U.K. television this summer. A dozen muscle bound hunks and bikini clad models are lumped together in a villa on a Mediterranean island where their every move is filmed for our viewing entertainment. Romance blossoms and hearts are broken. Everyone has perfect bodies, perfect tans and perfect teeth. There are villains, heroes and catfights galore.

Reality TV is a sure fire ratings winner. It’s relatively cheap to make and the viewing public can’t get enough of it. Maybe it’s because the sight of the often intellectually challenged contestants make us feel a little bit better about ourselves; or maybe it’s just some lightweight escapism from our own dreary lives at the end of another gruelling day at the coalface. Either way, reality TV is here to stay.

The irony of it is that there is nothing remotely real about reality TV. The contestants are carefully chosen and moulded to play the roles that the producers want them to perform. Conversations are scripted and emotions exploited and exaggerated. The footage is carefully edited in order to ensure that every last drop of drama is squeezed from what is essentially a dozen bored twenty somethings lounging around a pool.

We lap it up all the same. Will Jack and Dani stay together despite the former’s ex girlfriend arriving at the villa with her sights set on winning him back? Will nice guy Alex ever get a girl after a string of doomed dates? And is man eater Meghan really the most horrible woman in Britain? Tune in after the break and all will be revealed. Or possibly not depending on what evil tricks the producers have up their sleeves for our hapless heroes.

We love reality TV for its sheer lack of reality. It is fantasy fluff. It is unreality TV. We mock the contestants but it begs the question – how real are we as we go about living our own lives? How genuine are we in our interactions with the people who matter in our lives? And how much of it is inane, meaningless small talk? Do we tell them we love them or is it all bottled up and glossed over because that’s ‘not our thing’?

I used to live my life in a bubble. I drifted along in a world of my own, refusing to deal with my own grief, addictive behaviour and deteriorating mental health. I refused to acknowledge the damage it was causing both myself and my family. Reality took a back seat to selfish, immature behaviour and an inability to face up to the responsibilities screaming at me to be dealt with. I chose to turn my back on reality and live a lie. It was car crash television.

Does any of this ring a bell? Does your life at present currently resemble an unreality TV show? Are you burying your head in the sand and burying your hopes and plans in the process? As in six foot under. Here’s a suggestion. Stop digging. Look up and take what life has to offer you on the chin. It might not be pretty but it’s your life and only you can turn it into a thing of beauty. You only have one chance.

Unreality television is harmless fun. Unreality living is not. It’s a killer. Living a superficial life might give the appearance that all is rosy in the garden but those roses have thorns that will pierce your skin and bleed you dry. Unreality living leads to dissatisfaction, dead ends and disaster. Be real and learn to feel. With those who matter and need the real you in their lives. Who deserve better than a gameshow contestant.

What are your views on reality TV?

Are you living a real or unreal life?

35 thoughts on “Unreality Television

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  1. Ugh! Reality tv is pathetic, just a cheap way for networks to produce crappy drama. It’s like the car crash you just can’t take your eyes off. But, since Canadian media has been chock full of American news about their dear leader donny (he is so classless he calls out PM by his first name, and since he’s a pathetic excuse for a homo sapien I feel I have no obligation to address him with any titles or capitals), we already have more bad reality entertainment than we could have ever wanted, so it’s a moot point as far as I’m concerned.

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  2. Wow, explosive truth. But it’s whats keeping us from living out the truth. Hiding behind a fasade just makes matters worst. We tend to not know what’s real or not. I believe reality tv hinders is from seeking true wisdom about who we are. Trying to live a life appeasing people and not just being happy with who we are. I stop watching reality tv., there are just too many and the drama gives me a headache.

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  3. well i do watch reality tv, who doesnt these days? its hard not to. but I wont watch certain shows, like the kardashians, no way! thats too much drama! but I watch some tv shows, and enjoy them a lot. not love island, though. xo

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  4. Great post .. A lot of these things I don’t watch because knowing myself pretty well now, I’d find something to like about them, moderated viewing would go out of the window and within the day I’d be obsessed.

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  5. I watched a few reality shows back when in the days when Survivor was new and fresh, but I stopped watching them after just a few seasons. I know that all reality shows are not as real as they claim, but some reality shows annoy me much more than others. It is cheap entertainment, and I have decided that I am worth more. My time is worth more.

    As for living a real life…that is what I am striving for, although I know I often fall short and the temptation to hide behind the unreal is strong.

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  6. Yuck…I detest reality TV and avoid it like excess calories. I take no pleasure in watching the misfortunes of others. My own reality? Well, as real as real can be, I guess. I just do my best to live life, be myself, strive for excellence, and try to make reality a little better for people around me. Kind of boring, compared to a TV show, but it is what it is. 🙂

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  7. I have never liked reality tv and it has only gotten worse since it all started. Here in the US that is all that is on anymore. Over the years I watch less and less television. On a good week I may watch 10 hrs of tv – normally just a few hours and then it is usually an old movie or my favorite app – Britbox. The shows are old but since I have never seen them they are new to me. I am enjoying the mysteries. My reality is working and striving to live my life reflecting God’s love for us – reality tv doesn’t reflect that.

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  8. Awesome post. I love it. I don’t watch reality Tv or soaps. As I start to watch them they seem to drain the life out of me. They are so foolish. But many people love them and follow them. As you said some of us are living an unrealistic life. We need to focus on getting ourselves together.

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  9. I don’t have any cable channels so I usually don’t partake in watching reality shows. At the time several years ago when I did have a cable channel, it was Bravo. I remember getting quite obsessed with Bad Girls Club and Real Housewives of Atlanta. I doubt I could get back into those shows now since the casts are totally different. I really never understood the appeal of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, the Kardashians, or Jersey Shore.

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