TOWIE, The Real Housewives of…, Made in Chelsea, Big Rich…, The Valleys, Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore…what do they have in common? Well they sure know how to make average Joes in society BIG names in minutes.
Now, don’t get me wrong, not all of the reality TV are that bad; some are very quite entertaining. It only concerns me when it gets to the point that the plot becomes a confused mystery puzzle and lack of acting skills are caught-red handed by viewers… maybe it’s a sign that show must pull the plug.
Since the Hills on MTV, we’ve seen the effects of the cast post-Hills. Some good and others worse…Kristen was reported married and Heidi…well, she has a large nemesis base because Spencer (everyone hate him too) to the extent that she had a full blown body work (which she didn’t needed). The UK took a slow start to the whole reality TV trend but after the launch of The Only Way is Essex – which was described by Amy Childs as the ‘British LA’ (cringe); Channel 4 followed suit reflecting the high-class elite of South London’s Chelsea.
I think it’s not easy having a reality show as you’re actually placing your real-private life on screen whilst adding a few semi-scripted scenes just to make it more entertaining. You noticed how fashion, make-up, slang and English language standards are different in each show right? That’s because each show reflects on a specific socio-economic class in society. So if I was going to go into some marketing jargon for a moment I would say that the Real Housewives of… series in America would focus on socio-economic AB1 specifically as the series follows on the lives of affluent women who live in either rich suburban and urban areas, which is why each state capital would have a different make up in terms of the cast.
We’re all guilty of getting caught up with entertaining drama that we forget that the show just reflects the lives of a minority of people (majority a group of friends) in one geographic area and therefore, it can lead to stereotypes. I live around Essex and when I reply to them my area of residence, they expect me to speak like the Essex casts in the show (which I don’t, although I can do the accent for fun). Some realities from the US are even formatted in different countries e.g. Geordie Shore. Some formats are successful whilst others fail. Remember the Scousewives on E4?
With reality shows being easily marketable it’s no wonder that our television screens are filled with them. However, if done right then the cast can be on their way to huge stardom with A-list access to big parties, events, fashion shows, endorsements etc. You name it, the fabulous high life is now at our doorstep…
…although casts have a huge hatebase for example, Spencer & Lucy from MIC or Mario from TOWIE and Lateysha from the Valleys who thinks she’s can sing like Beyonce (¬¬). Despite the love-hate relationships with have with these people, it’s funny how you can spot certain places in your area and be like ‘I know that place!’ (laughs). Not only that, it has become easier for gossip magazines like Heat & Now to get exclusive images and stories about the characters when the camera stops. Trust me, NOT ALL of them are what they seem on TV; some are really utter jerks while others will surprise you.
Plus, story lines must continue to engage the public. Television shows are highly dependent on viewing figures. If they’re begin to wain, then it’s time for the show to end. No need for a movie whatsoever (TOWIE please). Decreasing figures will indicate that the viewers are getting tired of the same ol’. Symptoms of a dying show includes an on-off special of one cast (who left for good) returning, increasing foolish drama that hasn’t got sense…everyone’s got a list of symptoms that indicates the show is rubbish.
Apart from pressure of the general public, lack of privacy is maybe one of the causes that many of our favourite casts have left the reality bandwagon for good. Millie Mackintosh is the recent one to walk out from Made in Chelsea on the bases of this ground. At the end of the day, who wants to be famous on appearing on a reality TV show (unless you’re like Kim Kardashian that is but her story is too long to discuss)? You rather want to be known for your worth and not just being a total twat on TV. You still want to keep some of your private life PRIVATE and be free to go to places without the surveillance of the paps following you around.
Nevertheless, whatever we think of them they are still famous from the back of your television. However, not everyone benefits from being filmed for your entertainment…it even makes some more desperate for fast-lane fame.