Posts Tagged ‘Reality Shows’

A Reality Check

It seems like ages ago now, but looking back I still remember how we used to rack our brains in front of our television sets, discussing possible answers and playing the game along with the contestants on the show. It was the time when Quiz shows like Bournvita Quiz Contest, Kaun Banega Crorepati etc. ruled the primetime show slots on television networks. Derek O’ Brien was a household name and everyone would back their school team to land a spot on the show. But then TV channels apparently felt that these shows weren’t attracting “enough” audiences and TRP’s weren’t high enough, I guess, because of the lack of controversies, cheating, use of expletives, and skin showing. Hence came upon us a new era of  Reality Shows, which aimed at the larger pool of audiences and with the help of whom the TRP’s skyrocketed to heights channels never dreamed of.

Shows like Fear Factor, Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachaao, Sach Ka Saamna, Big Boss, Bingo, Swayamvars etc. are now the rage. While one involves performing daring stunts and eating protein rich insects, the other is about a bunch of  out-of-work celebrities all huddled up in a house while the audience spies on them through strategically placed cameras. Frankly, the audience’s intellect is taking a huge beating through these shows. Children now want to do the stunts depicted at home while the adults vote for their least favourite celeb to be kicked out of the show. Many dance shows and singing competitions have also cropped up in the name of reality shows. While they may be a useful platform for people to showcase their talents, one cannot ignore the fact that these shows are causing premature mental depression in children who cannot deal with the emotional pressures of being voted out or criticized by the judges. Then there are the so called adventure shows like Roadies. Two bald guys decide whether you’ve got the talent to participate in the show and once you’re selected there starts an unending saga of back-biting, abusing, and plotting against other participants; and yeah there are a few tasks here and there too, just for the sake of it. The worst of the lot though, are the Swayamvar shows. It started with Rakhi Sawant who apparently would marry the winner of the show after she decided which one of the men was the most “suitable” (read: rich) for her. Then it was the turn of Rahul Mahajan to pick from a bevy of girls who lined up for him. Ask the girls and they’d say that they would do anything to win, all because they represent the “Modern Generation” who weren’t held back by silly rules of society. Clearly their culture and family values mean nothing to them and they have probably lost the respect of millions watching the show. Which self respecting man/woman would participate in these shows? It just shows to what extent people would go to be seen on tv.  Granted there are a few shows which actually bother about nurturing talent and bringing it to the notice of the public, but most of the other shows are just a sham aimed at wasting peoples time and money and ultimately only serving the cause of the celebrities who participate in them.

The worst part though is that the general public are actually accepting these shows which only encourages them to continue playing with the audiences. No one seems to be bothered about the slowly falling standards of Indian television, and so long as the people lap up these shows, the channels will only be too happy to keep feeding us with such garbage.