Reality TV drama…it’s almost impossible to know what’s legitimate and what is trumped up for the cameras. In the media, on TV and online we are bombarded by ‘shock baby bombshells’, ‘why they suddenly split’ and ‘who cheated on who’ – but, how much of it is the truth? It seems that the media spins more lies than it ever tells truths. Most of us are left questioning where they actually found the contestants for these shows. What’s even more concerning is the messages they are sending and the indoctrinating effects they are having on the younger generation.
Married At First Sight
Who hasn’t seen it? Wow – is all we have to say. Who are these experts and where did they acquire their ‘qualifications’? Only one couple from 6-whole seasons has had any form of success. I think we can all agree that the show has facilitated more infidelities than happy marriages.
The couples are said to be matched on their personalities, hopes for the future, lifestyles and scientific compatibility – as well as a host of other ‘categories’. However, it doesn’t seem to have reaped a great amount of success so far. Unfortunately, most episodes are filled with a concerning amount of verbal and psychological abuse that is becoming more and more ‘normalised’ as it is often screened completely uncensored. Many experts have highlighted the fact that the show has exposed some uncomfortable truths.
Is It Legit?
The premise of the series is to replicate a real marriage. I think we can all, however, agree that if half of what goes on between these couples was to occur in the real world they would all be heading for the divorce courts in the first couple of days.
Contestants are essentially encouraged to judge one another ‘at first sight’ as many of the matches seems to be concocted on the basis that opposites attract. As we have seen on this series of MAFS, both men and women (specifically Sam and Ines) have been given an extensive amount of screentime whilst degrading the partners they were ‘matched with’. Why the unmentionable humiliating statements they have made are allowed to air during prime time viewing is beyond us. Rigid gender roles are promoted on screen for today’s youth to absorb. It’s no wonder their success rate is virtually non-existent. But hey, it’s all in the name of good TV, isn’t it?
The Bachelor & Bachelorette
We must admit, this one has been a little bit more successful. Although the drama is still rife from the very first moment, it seems that Bachy has had more success than expected. Bachelor originals Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich have recently tied the knot in 2018 after the romance blossomed on screen in 2013. Although Tim was courting 25 other women at the same time (LOL) this pair have gone the distance.
Along with Robards, 2015 Bachelor Sam Wood fell for the woman of his dreams, Snezana Markoski, on screen. The pair have since given birth to the first Bachy baby in 2017 and tied the knot in late 2018. Bachelorette Georgia Love and Lee Elliot are another loved up couple to find each other on The Bachelorette in 2016. The couple has since moved in together and seems to be going from strength to strength.
Although the success of both The Bachelor and Bachelorette has resulted in happy relationships and marriage for some of the contestants, who could forget some of the most memorable failures. Blake Garvey went from popular hunk to Australia’s most hated man when he reneged on the decision that Sam Frost was the women of his dreams. Days after the finale was filmed, Blake decided he prefered runner up Louis Pillidge and left Frost to be with her. Fact or fiction – it looks like Garvey wasn’t the real deal. The pair split not long after.
Who could forget the Honey Badgers shock exit from the show after choosing no one! Both Brittany Hockley and Sophie Tieman were left heartbroken when Nick Cummins decided to end the show with the shock decision that he hadn’t fallen for either of them. We smell a rat. Many rumours have suggested that the whole thing was staged for ‘schock value’. Both women were left dumbfounded and have since become close friends. Cummins begs to differ, stating that he went into the show with the sole purpose of finding love. Believe it or not – we will leave that up to you to decide.
Wherever you stand, we can all agree that both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have some element of ‘show business’. After all, why else are hundreds of thousands of us tuning in on a nightly basis?
What Can We Trust?
If we are being honest… not much. It seems to be that most of these ‘relationships’ are typecast for the most drama possible. It is pretty clear that most of the contestants on these reality ‘love’ shows are chosen to play a particular role. Who hasn’t heard the rumour that at least three of the contestants on MAFS are paid actors? It seems impossible for the drama to be as frequent and reoccurring as it is if these were genuine people out to find love.
After all, who can argue with the roles we see cast every season on almost all of these programs. The villain, the peacemaker, the arrogant good looking guy, the crazy lovesick girl who will do anything to make ‘The Bachelor’ her man. Undeniable characters that feature in almost all of these reality TV dramas. If we are completely honest, there is usually only a hand full (if that) of genuine applicants. Not many are actually interested in ‘love’ – the allure of an Instagram following seems to be much more enticing.
We think these reality TV shows should be taken with a grain of salt. This year’s MAFS contestant Lauren Huntriss has recently lashed out at the producers accusing them of coercing her into making statements which they cut and used out of context. Although Lauren was bound by a confidentiality agreement, she has recently told all on the Kyle & Jackie O show exposing what reality TV is really like. It turns out, we can’t trust much. As Lauren describes, the producers will do anything to manipulate the situation in order to heighten the drama. After all, this is what makes us come back for more.
Are We To Blame Or Is It Just Show Business?
On the flip side, how can we criticise? So many of us tune in every night. It’s like a car crash that you just can’t stop watching. Surely the ‘contestants’ know what they are getting themselves into… right? But, are we to blame for encouraging the drama? Are we just as bad as the producers?
Whatever you think, we need to remember to look at these programs for what they really are. Acting. Let’s not forget these contestants are paid to be there and no one forced them to apply for the show in the first place. So, it’s essential that we remember and remind ourselves that this is not real life. This is not how relationships work. And, this is not how people really act. It is nothing more than clever cut and paste techniques by sneaky producers. The roles are cast and we are manipulated into judgement from the very beginning. We see what they want us to see. Nothing more and nothing less. That’s show business baby!
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