What happens if you put a person or family with a certain problem on TV?
In Germany there’s a system for it called “Scripted Reality” – of course some people will know that and how it works, but just to explain it to those who don’t:
You need the ingredients = normal people and then add a bit of spice = “Do this or that or else we will sue you”.
Private TV channels in Germany seem to have problems with retaining their customers therefore they create “fake” shows with real people to suggest the watcher that they are so much better than those people in the shows.
A family/person needs help. TV Channel sends a contract and if signed sends a team to the family to “provide” help with the family issues/love life/…
The person in front of the TV gets confronted with a lot of horrible, violent scenes in the family or weird person that searches for love and thinks the family/person is really weird and needs help by professionals. SO, yay, here comes the TV Channel’s trump card: the nanny/matchmaker.
They are there to listen and watch the problems and suggest what to do… of course you think (as the “normal” -naive- person in front of the TV) that’s awesome, but then suddenly you check on Youtube and find several interviews with the people who were on TV in such programs just a minute ago complaining about how they were (mentally) abused while filming.
You may think that this is part of the system as they signed a contract and receive money for taking part, BUT…
- Is it okay to break inventory of apartments while filming without reimbursing the person/family?
- Is it okay to use water and electricity for 2 caravans, light and cameras without reimbursing the person/family?
- Is it legit for a company, which films you in “your normal environment”, to say you “should hit your sister/mother/brother/father/…, because it would be more realistic”? (actually, you can sue the company for this as this is instigation for a crime)
- Is it legit to help (or initiate) in killing (healthy) pets to get a certain reaction of a person and hold the camera into his/her face instead of turning off the camera? (this is not legal either… and I don’t want to think about the morale aspect of this…)
The TV production companies will deny all of this and say that the person/family agreed to the contract and what got filmed is the pure reality… that’s at least what they state. And in court they win! Yes, a child that got mobbed by a TV production company actually went to court… you know what happened? The one with the amazing front of lawyers won. So not the child which is emotionally and mentally broken, but the company which makes money with that – a LOT of money!
But what is even worse: Some people actually believe what happens on TV and flame about what happens in these “Scripted Realities”, calling the family/people featured in there as <insert not nice words here> and therefore keep on watching formats on TV, as it is entertaining and showing them: There are people, who are worse than me/my family.
Sadly it gets worse with each year… some channels don’t seem to have anything else in their programs except for soaps and reality shows… and why should they? As long there are some people in front of the TV they will continue to sow stupidity.
Sad, but true.
Meanwhile we complain about the stupid youth who don’t know anything about the great world, while their parents park them in front of the TV so they don’t need to interact with the annoying children. Vicious circle, hooray.
I’m not sure, what we will see on TV, but as for private TV channels I think the test picture will be really entertaining.