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Five myths about reality television

Troy DeVolld, a reality TV producer, is the author of "Reality TV" and "And Another Thing."

Reality television has been around since the beginning of the medium, with popular radio broadcasts like "This Is Your Life", "Candid Microphone" and "The Original Amateur Hour" coming into the box in the 1950s. Today, in the era of "Peak TV," the genre remains popular and profitable. This accounts for half of all broadcast and cable programs, generating $ 6 billion in annual revenue, according to Nielsen. However, this does not mean that it is not widely misunderstood.

Myth # 1

Reality TV appeals to the worst audience.

Speaking of experience, producing reality TV is a profession that you might want to imagine at a Hollywood party. Critics blame the genre for "America has come down." Gary Oldman once called reality television a "museum of social decline." Some say that exposure to the stuff can make you more selfish. "warned Pacific Standard, reporting on a study by the Psychology of Popular Media Culture that linked reality television to narcissism.

However, a 2015 study found that reality shows could stimulate the parts of our brain that deal with empathy in an experiment where subjects saw clips of embarrassing scenes from reality TV and then in a fMRI Machine lay. In a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 68 percent of girls surveyed said they felt they had "everything in life on reality television," and those watching such shows sought guidance almost twice as often non-viewers. Reality TV was also a leader in presenting a variety of experiences. A NAACP report from 2008 found that non-white people were under-represented in almost all areas of the television industry, except for reality shows.

Myth # 2

Reality show staff can not handle content with scripts.

Reality producers and talent in front of the camera rank low in the show business hierarchy. "Simpsons" writer Dana Gould summarized Reality shows up as "people who are not actors who work with people who are not amateurs of nothing." Onetime TV star George Clooney said, "Theater actors look down on movie actors looking down on television actors. Thank goodness for the reality shows, otherwise we would not have anyone to look down on. "

But often people cross this supposedly unbridgeable species. Bill Hader, co-designer of the acclaimed HBO drama "Barry," began as a production assistant on shows such as "The Surreal Life." Matt Hubbard worked on MTV's "Fear", a paranormal reality contest series, before he won an Emmy for his work on "30 Rock" and for collecting lyrics and lyrics for hits like "Superstore" and "Parks and Recreation". Sarah Gertrude Shapiro gathered her experience as a producer on "The Bachelor" to produce her script series "UnReal". "

On the other hand, there is "Ally McBeal" creator David E. Kelley, who once stated at a Writers Guild of America awards ceremony that network leaders "prefer to associate with the next participant on" How to Marry a Terrorist " Kelley made his own push to produce reality television in 2005 with "The Law Firm" (2005), and after only two episodes, NBC was pulled off by NBC, which proves that Going over to reality is not as easy as some people think.

Myth # 3

Reality television calls for disputes over ratings.

Critics complain about the heated arguments that permeate reality television, especially in documentary soaps in which cameras follow groups of people through their everyday lives. Memorable incidents include Tom's strike on Jax in Vanderpump Rules and Teresa Giudice's legendary Table Flip during an argument about The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Entertainment Weekly considers this a worrying trend the plot of a show. "

However, physical changes to the camera are extremely rare. An 2010 Brigham Young University psychologist's analysis found that while reality television shows contained a higher level of relational aggression, they represented "almost no physical violence." Manufacturers urged participants to speak openly, mostly after shows "Big Brother" to "Top Chef" has very strict policies without violence and casts cast members as soon as they show threatening behavior or take inappropriate action against Castmates.

Today, the audience welcomes friendlier, more harmonious reality content. Who would have thought that we would fall in love with "The Great British Baking Show" during these turbulent times, reaching for fabrics during a more sentimental "queer eye" or enjoying the sweet, silly fun of "The Masked Singer"?

Myth # 4

Reality TV is totally fake.

In a recent "Saturday Night Live" sketch, Will Ferrell and Cecily Strong were seen as reality stars who suddenly start in an exaggerated, screaming match as soon as their camera crews meet up with old friends. Mike Fleiss, the prolific creator of "The Bachelor," claimed in 2012 that 70 to 80 percent of reality shows are "fake."

Mostly the material is not produced. It is roughly planned and then prepared for time, clarity and continuity. As budget for the show budget grows, waiting for something is not an option. Therefore, production often begins with loosely contoured contours. These contain a simple agenda for the episode, with elements such as "Cast Meets for Dinner to Discuss the Journey." However, once the shooting begins, Beats's "shopping list" often changes, depending on what happens in the field – a cast member get involved in an argument, arrive late, or appear on a leash with their pet possum.

With few exceptions (such as "Big Brother" being broadcast live, though the show is being edited for broadcast), most reality television is first shot over for days or weeks and then edited. A month on the field could be shortened to 44 or 22 minutes. In this way, the audience sees reality stars only in essential moments – and not during the hours when carrots are peeled or the children are put to bed. Almost nothing releases just as it has fallen into the lens, but the end product is usually more or less what happened.

Myth # 5

Reality television brought us President Trump.

Did Reality TV give Trump the necessary boost to get into the Oval Office? "Donald Trump had 14 seasons of carefully reworked primetime flowering to give the American minds an impression of the president," say psychologists at the University of Buffalo who examined how the audience "parasocial ties" with the host "The Apprentice" were received. NPR said, "It would not be surprising if he picked up on some of the TV tricks he used for the 2016 campaign." Romanist Jennifer Weiner even stated that she "parted company" with "The Bachelor," a show Trump never had because it "did the work of the Republicans for her and helped prepare America for its current leader "by supporting the idea that the most interesting candidate – not the best – should stay in the competition.

But Trump was an established media figure decades before "The Apprentice" who starred in ads for McDonalds, Oreos and Pizza Hut. Countless film and television cameras make; Talk shows go; and more. The characterizations of Trump as a reality TV star do not mention how his other reality projects "Pageant Place" and "Girls of Hedsor Hall" fell or how the ratings for the Apprentice franchise declined over time. The season 14 finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" drew 6.1 million viewers – a considerable number, but only a shadow of the 28.1 million of the first season finale. (In contrast, Trump drew 46.8 million viewers for his State of the Union speech in 2019.)

Five Myths is a weekly feature that questions everything you think you know. You can check out previous myths, read more of Outlook, or follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter,

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