Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why Reality TV Should Take A Suck.



Crass? Check. Loud? Check. Ostentatious? Check. Entertaining? Hmmm.


There is a reality check needed by those who are lapping up the above defined Reality TV shows. I fail to understand what draws the audience towards utterly ridiculous programs that seem to have infiltrated every channel on TV these days. It seems to me it is filled by people who seriously need to GET A LIFE. The other day I happened to see an advertisement on ‘Imagine’ channel titled “Shaadi 3 Crore Ki.” Say whaaat? I couldn’t believe that marriage, which is a sacred ceremony in Hindu (and most other cultures), was going to be paraded as a form of entertainment for TV viewers. Whatever happened to the holy vows between a man and wife, witnessed and blessed by close family and friends? No. What we had here was an industry being made of the concept of marriage, to be viewed by millions on national television. And the sad part is not that the sanctity of marriage is being questioned but that it is going to earn all the TRPs it’s aiming at because people like us will watch and endorse it.

Channels like MTV and Channel [V] have been airing Roadies, Splitsvilla etc for eons now. The quality of these shows is so poor - the people participating in them are only interested in getting their two minutes worth of fame, and the language and content of the show is appalling, to say the least. No harm in mindless entertainment and watching weird histrionics of the contestants but to me, there seems to be so many better ways to spend your time! My problem with these shows is that they depict a way of life that is so glossed up and far removed from reality, which can prove to be dangerous for vulnerable minds. The so called “urban” youth is uncouth, if these shows are anything to go by and it is shameful that our generation is reduced to such idiotic representation.

The game shows that offer large amounts of money for performing tasks or answering questions (India’s Minute to Win It comes to mind) are a good idea but it would be such a better idea to get those people on show that actually need the money. It is all well for someone from upper-middle class to go on these shows and earn a substantial amount of money, half of which they claim will go to so-called “charity”. Upon asking a friend what she would do if she won some money on one of these TV shows, she said she would buy herself a Sony Vaio laptop or maybe an iPhone 4. That would be small gain in comparison to those people for whom earning even Rs 50,000 – 1,00,000 would indeed be a means of bringing about change in their lives.

A friend of my mother’s has a Russian woman staying with her who has been learning about the Indian scriptures and history and knows so much more about our country than she (my mother’s friend) has known, despite living here! Most of us are victims to this blissful unawareness. The fact that there are several historical (mainly) archives that lie uncared for says a lot of (unflattering) things about how Indians regard their past. With the revolutions occurring in Egypt and Libya (Pakistan following?), there are other (smaller) revolutions we, as TV viewers, can undertake. Let us stop watching bad TV programs and dulling our imaginations. It lulls us into a false sense of security, which as we know (Julius Caesar, Macbeth!), is the downfall of man. Roald Dahl captures the woes of the Idiot Box succintly in his poem, “On Television” –

IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK - HE ONLY SEES!”

Enough said.
"If I wanted to watch reality, I wouldn't need a TV."

                                                                                                                                           - Apoorva Sahay 

5 comments:

anand108 said...

You are really a great writer :)
Keep going!

Anuradha said...

I love this.

Also, who on earth can forget Rakhi Ka Swayamvar? -_____-

Aakriti Anand said...

Apoorva, wow! the best part of the whole thing really has got to be the fact that you can do the whole Reality TV bashing thing without being superbly in-your-face and i-don't-give-a-shit varieties about it.
and thanks for ending with the Ziggy and the Roald Dahl quote =D

Anonymous said...

Hypocritish. Don't you use the language?

What I don't like, and find a bit amusing! :

1. Why compare a Russian woman's blissful awareness about India? You mentioning this was completely irrelevant. How much does she know about Russia itself? (lol) The point here is that I can argue that I potentially have 'historic' awareness about America. Truth is, everybody has their interests.

2. What about 'Saas Bahu' Soap Operas? They're worse than reality shows in India.

What I like: I like the fact that you have identified that a couple of these shows do indeed create an illusion in vulnerable minds. They think it is 'cool' :| Enough said.

Peace.

guilty said...

Not enough said.
Everything you said couldn't be truer - and you wrote it so well. Thanks for sharing this post; I feel better about my no-tv habits and thinking all the time! Haha!
Don't take the previous poster's comment to heart - he or she is obviously an American who can't see the value of your judgement.