The Truth Behind Reality TV Shows

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

By Nompumelelo Nkosi

There actually are secrets behind our favourite reality shows, nonetheless we watch anyway. Reality shows are the oyster of television. What would television time be without Keeping up with the Kardashians or our favourite MTV shows? Whether we want to admit or not, some of these reality shows are unfortunately scripted.

The entertainment industry is filling with reality show after another and some people just don’t get the gist behind the “drama” and call the shows fake. Well the sad news is producers do confirm that some reality shows are scripted to set a certain agenda on the viewers.

Story writers and producers come up with ideas to make their shows a hit thus hooking you into watching. Who doesn’t like a bit of a cat fight between the cast members? No one, ever! South Africa is joining in on creating ‘real life’ TV. Reality shows are created to entertain and create a relatable space for different individuals.

Truth is, the American reality shows scene is the biggest in the world and they mainly focus more on lavish living, than real life stories. In South Africa, the reality show scene is different. Shows such as Utatakho and Khumbul’ekhaya were created for people to relate and have a sense of belonging.

Our perfect wedding show cases different South African weddings, from different backgrounds and lifestyles and Date My Family, SAs favourite youth dating reality show, are amongst the popular reality shows, their aim is to entertain and show a different side to people. The youth are the main target of a number of reality shows for obvious reasons: they like entertainment television, they practically live on social media and they occupy a huge chunk of the population.

South African shows may be ‘real’ and genuine with their local content and we’re not really sure if there are certain tweaks that come with the entertainment but when it comes to America, there’s no doubt about the tweaks. Suggest lays down some of the fake scenes reality shows add. False endings, producers make cast members or guests record more than one scene of endings to choose from.

Shocking moments are recorded over and over just to get that right reaction to get the viewers attention. Some cast members say they are told how and when to smile or laugh and what to say. It is not really based on your true reaction. When it comes to dating shows, the supposedly ‘strangers’ who are meant to meet for the first time actually meet before to discuss the script, reactions and when to cause a scene. You feel betrayed, right? I know.

The shocker of them all, your favourite singing/talent show such as Idols are also scripted. Contestants are asked to tell a sad story when they come to audition and before you even audition, producers already know who they want to put through the next round, celebrity judges are just there to entertain you. Cooking shows? The food was actually cooked by someone else. Shows about “surprise findings” yes you’ve guessed right, they knew it was there all along.

A reality show is a reality shows, which ever country, it is scripted but we love the shows. At the end, reality shows are TV entertainment. They do just that- entertain us and get us hooked to see more and more and that’s how they make ratings and profits. Will you stop watching reality shows after finding out the truth? I bet you won’t.