Reality Getting Creepier and Crappier

Few days back something outrageously weird caught my eye on one of the TV channels. It was the advertisement for the upcoming reality show based on the theme of Swayamwar of the very “famous” Rakhi Sawant. With due respect I would like to question the innocent yet scandalous Miss Sawant, if it’s yet another publicity stunt? Well the audience has lost count of the publicity stunts resorted to by our stars! No doubt the television is flooded with reality shows showcasing various degrees of violence, abuses, cat fights and torture. But this one, according to me, is emotively conceived and a cheap attempt at easy hype. It is a mockery of the Indian tradition of marriage and fails to convey any sensible message.


Talking about violence and abuses, the two shows aired by MTV would top the list in showcasing such outrageous content. Well it’s no noble prize winning task if you have already figured out what I am getting at. Yes it’s the very popular Roadies and Splitsvilla . To say the least, Roadies is the better of the two if it comes to the concept of the show. It at least has the aim of rewarding the one who’s capable of physically enduring the difficult tasks put up for them. On the other hand, Splitsvilla comes as another despicable attempt, the concept and the message of which I have still not being able to decipher. These shows are all about the survival of the fittest and the fastest, and yes the survival of the one who can hurl most abuses and threaten anybody with their physical strength. People are blinded by the superficiality portrayed in these shows. Somebody likes Nauman for his cute looks while somebody is mad about the Splitsvilla queen Joanna. And somewhere down the line they eventually end up emulating their personas.


As the news of the Lawrence school boys engaging in violence hit the news I sat thinking if somewhere these shows are to be blamed. And why not?? While these two shows’ concept is based on bringing the tougher side of the contestants (or better still the evil side) the much simpler themes like music competitions are also spiced up by adding unnecessary elements. Publicity gimmicks like judges fighting over trivial matters and walking out are fast picking up too. It can’t be said with much conviction if such things are pre planned or not. But pitting such judges together again and again definitely point out to attempts of garnering cheap publicity.


I remember watching the Big Boss season 2 which was filled with a lot of filth. The episodes were full of unnecessary drama and abuses hurled by the contestants at each other. The channel and the show directors and producers are under an obligation to moderate the scenes that go on air, but they seem to be impervious to it .All this puts the poor audience in an embarrassing situation. While they obviously have the choice of changing channels, that doesn’t help much too. Changing from one such show to other will only lead to more ‘Emotional Atyachar’ on a different channel.


In some of the shows where you have these sophisticated and well mannered judges and worthy participants the hype comes in from the side of the participant’s relatives or precisely parents. The drama created when somebody’s child is voted out is just another TRP enhancing techniques. The news that a girl
committed suicide after being voted out from one of the singing show is just another repercussion of these. A lot of tampering with the voting system which can happen became apparent when a real life couple who are famous TV stars, distributed free SIM cards to their friends to vote for them when they participated in a dance reality show.


All in all I feel there is hardly anything real about these reality shows as they purposefully craft situations where they can capture high drama. They not only come as wastage of time but have also become a source of spreading a lot of negative vibes and eroding values. If we call such violence and emotionally charged verbal fights as entertainment then we definitely need to run a reality check on the way our society is heading towards.


This is a never ending debate which I guess would settle down only when the shows will be devoid of any more tolerant viewers and lead the makers into suffering heavy losses.


Rajul Jain

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