The Actuality of Reality TV: What You're Really Watching

Millions of people around the world love to watch reality television. We sit down once a week to watch the antics, drama, and silly moments presented to us by different network channels around the world. We get to sneak a peek into the lives of celebrities and everyday human beings as they go about their days. However, is that really what we are doing?


The Actuality of Reality TV: What You're Really Watching

Perhaps you are aware that reality TV isn't quite what it seems. Perhaps you know that not everything you see on an episode happens exactly as it played out on your television screen. That is a great start to recognizing the fact that reality TV as it is called is not reality. Many times, the shows are scripted to add the drama factor to an otherwise peaceful moment in time. In addition, footage can be edited to changes how things played out between different cast members. Let us look at a few different techniques producers and editors use to create reality TV that has us on the edge of our seats each and every week.

Shooting Scripts


A shooting script is an outline that details aspects of an episode or part of the show. Directors will give the filmers specific places to shoot while capturing footage for certain scenes or the entire show. They know which spots in The Bachelor house, for example, will pick up the juiciest footage: ahem, *cough, cough*, the bedroom, anyone? "Oooh, who is Timmy gettin' it on this week?! Didn't he just sleep with Tisha's best friend, Casey, last week? OHHHH, DRAAAAMAAAA. Girl, I gotta see what happens next week!"



Another thing that you may not know is that, while the cast members do not necessary get a script to follow, they may not be aware of everything that will happen on set to create hilarious spectacles for those watching at home. "For example, when a live skunk invaded the Daisy of Love set, that had nothing to do with the migration patterns of Burbank skunks. That was some terrified production assistant dropping a skunk out of a sack and running. However, the three men who beat it into a trash can with a pool cue while wearing their underpants ... that was real. Who could plan that? Who would plan that?"


Hand-Picking the Contestants


During auditions for these shows, producers will choose people that they know you will absolutely loooooove and those that you will despise to your core. Who doesn't love a good villain after all? They can see who thinks of themselves as a princess or God's greatest gift to the world. They can see who seems like a kind, caring individual that tries to keep the peace. Anyone who has seen The Jersey Shore has seen parts of Angelina's audition tape. She seemed so stuck up and snotty there that it is no wonder everyone else in the house disliked her and that she was gone for Season 2. That being said, it made you want to tune in and see what ridiculous sentences would come out of her mouth and if she ever got her ass kicked for being that way.

Frankenbiting


"I've never heard of that term," you may mention to yourself. Guess what? Neither did I until I started doing some research for this myTake. The term comes from mixing the words "Frankenstein" and "soundbite" together.


"Frankenbites come into being when, for whatever reason, content creators make a mashup of soundbites that never existed together in their original form. Sometimes in order to make a character say what the producers want to hear, editors and story producers will grab a phrase here, a word there, and cobble together a brand new thought."


Now why would editors do that? It all goes back to creating drama and excitement on reality television shows. Some days on set, there may be hours worth of footage that is not interesting on its own. As a result, bits and pieces of what people on the show talk about will be tweaked or simply changed to create an incident or crisis to get the viewers more vested in what they are watching. They also do this to cut out filler or bland parts of whatever has been taped.


Even after all of that, keep in mind that reality television is not always fake and does have plenty of real moments. However, not everything is as it seems. Those filming, editing, and supervising those shows know exactly what their audience will eat up and what will keep us coming back for more.

Share your opinions below! What reality TV shows do you watch? Do you know what is scripted and what isn't? How much do you actually believe is real? :)

#BATTLEROYALE #TeamRJ


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What Guys Said 21

  • 3mo

    my moms cousin works as a producer and she actually helped produce the first season of pawn stars, her name is in the credits.
    But yeah, after she came over she told us that most of the sales are already either done or the pawn shop will call people up and say, hey do you want your things to appear in the show, and it does, they pretend to sell them or buy them and in reality nothing actually changed hands

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  • 3mo

    How do people NOT know when it's scripted?

    I mean... it's painfully obvious, isn't it?

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    • 3mo

      Oh, I'm sure a lot of people realize this. I'm guessing they're just too entertained to care. :P

  • 3mo

    Good thing I absolutely never watch any of this crap xD

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  • 3mo

    Wrong; I'm NOT watching it. Reality TV sucks; the bastards are just too cheap to pay writers and actors for original programming.

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  • 3mo

    It's 'white trash' reality really - most of the people I know don't have anywhere near as bitchy or banal a reality (and I've never watched that bs myself).
    It only started when media houses realised smart stuff is boring to trashy people - and started selling them their reality as, well, reality (which for people who aren't lazy isn't ever a reality - trashiness requires a significant lack of effort - you can be very poor and still not one bit trashy - if you put the effort in to striving and working towards better)

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  • 3mo

    Lmao my dawg Chad should have won doe lmfao

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  • 3mo

    Yea of course it is to some degree. But for the most part, reality tv contestants are not exactly playing a character

    They are playing themselves given the situation. Which is a little different

    Sure its a little scripted but nevetheless its more 'reality' than movie. I dont think producers can just blindly have a show run without any direction given.

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    • 3mo

      Oh, sure. I did mention it's not all fake. The point is that the people behind the scenes make up these crazy situations that the contestants take part of. Some things in these episodes wouldn't have happened without that push from producrrs if that makes sense.

    • 3mo

      producers*

  • 3mo

    Take HGTV reality shows like House Hunters and House Hunters International. They show three places on the show. One place is always over budget regardless of location. One is always away from where the people want regardless if it has all they want or not and one is close to where the people want regardless if it has all they want or not. In reality they are shown somewhere around 30 places. My dad knows someone who was on one of those shows.

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    • 3mo

      Oh, I'm sure they're shown a bunch of other places. If they showed all of them, the shows would be much longer. 😛

  • 3mo

    not surprised... oh well

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    • 3mo

      Yeah, I'm pretty sure most people aren't.

    • 3mo

      I liked the read though, hope i didn't sound rude

    • 3mo

      Oh, good! I'm glad to hear it. :) You didn't seem rude, and thanks for giving it some attention, haha.

  • 3mo

    I have my big doubts on reality TV... sometimes you can really see that it's purely a documentary, where the only thing they've probably done is cutting.
    But often, you can see with your eyes closed that there's a lot of acting involved :o including most probably setting up and arranging situations :-(
    The commercial importance is probably too large so they do everything to make the programs sexy. The only ones I have confidence in are the BBC reality programs :D

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    • 3mo

      Haha. Sometimes, I do have to admit, it's hilarious with what they do to make the cast members act a certain way.

    • 3mo

      Indeed! It's a "produced reality" for sure :D

  • 3mo

    I grew up apostolic with no tv

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  • 3mo
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    • 3mo

      Had to look up this guy. I don't watch The Bachelor, but I know there's a ton of drama on that show as well.

    • 3mo

      Chad shit himself on live television. That isn't improve at all.

    • 3mo

      I did say not everything is fake. There are real moments.

  • 3mo

    Reality TV at its finest is the original real world. After that they cashed in on that and scripted the hell out of it. More like the Truman show than reality.

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    • 3mo

      I never saw the first season of The Real World to be honest. After that, the parts of seasons I did see were just crazy, hah.

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    • 3mo

      Puck was not on the first season but after he was on they scripted the hell out of it

    • 3mo

      @funny_strange_man really I thought he was season one that was in Seattle? It was one of the first few seasons before it blew up.

  • 3mo

    Don't you dare call the real world fake... :o

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  • 3mo

    I am addicted to Yukon Men. I can't stop watching it. I love learning about the hunting and subsistence lifestyle, I love all the people on the show... can't get enough of it. Granted, some of it is very heavily edited and the producers push how much danger or injury is happening sometimes (they love to fade to the logo for a commercial break while you hear a gunshot or something breaking or someone yelling in pain) and it's never as bad as they wanted you to think. It's a cheap hook for a show that doesn't deserve it.

    The only other reality shows I like at all are Cops and Booze Britain. Tried to watch Border Patrol (both the Canadian and Australian versions) for a while but they spin out what could be a ten minute show into 22 minutes by endlessly recapping what's going on every 30 seconds. Yes, we get it, once again some Chinese person is bring weird insect-infested food in, and some sketchy guy with a bogus passport isn't getting allowed in.

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    • 3mo

      I haven't seen Yukon Men or Booze Britain. I love me some Cops, though. It's clear they pick and choose what is shown. People really can't be that dumb, can they? 😂

  • 3mo

    Reality TV is not permitted in my house. No way am i letting that IQ robbing nonsense on my televisions.

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  • 3mo

    I watch Deadliest Catch and while it's an awesome show, it's definitely edited and scripted in a way that is appealing to the audience. They make it seem like every single moment is tense, a struggle and last chance saloon when in reality, its 95% dull repetitive grinding and you might have 1 or 2 "fruity" moments in a whole fishing trip.

    Bear gryll's Man vs Wild is another, while he is undoubtedly capable of surviving, there is no way he is doing all of his stunts and activities without health and safety signing off on it first. They also practice everything beforehand, and it's actually known that they all go to a hotel after shooting lmao - or at least have a substantial camp set up.

    Really interesting take, i've actually had this discussion over dinner before. You're getting good at this <3.

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    • 3mo

      I haven't seen either of those, but I have heard of Bear's show having hotels and such to go to. They're not completely out in the wild as they make it seems. It definitely makes sense that those running the show wouldn't allow him to do his stunts with safety precautions either.

  • 3mo

    Yea reality is way more scripted than most people know. Most of the lines aren't scripted, but the events are, such as "X cheats on Y with Z" or which contestant is "chosen" Etc. Did you know reality shows are actually classified as "Game shows"? Regardless worse genre ever!

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    • 3mo

      I had no idea they were classified as game shows. I guess it makes sense for a good bit of them since they're typically vying to win something.

    • 3mo

      Yea from the Bachelor to those dumb judge shows, they are all game shows. I much prefer the Price is Right or Jepordy type to be honest.

    • 3mo

      I love The Price is Right!

  • 3mo

    Very enjoyable take - My friend worked as a producer on Reality TV and when we get that topic - I am going to write a bit about some of the things I noticed about Reality TV because when it first got popular especially the first few UK Big Brothers, it was much more rawer, real if you will. I liked it a lot and I am going to write about how and why my affection fell away from Reality TV.

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    • 3mo

      I look forward to reading your myTake on the subject! I'm interested in what you've learned from your friend and what UK reality shows are like.

  • 3mo

    That shit is faker than a $3 bill. Back in the days of MySpace, my old roommate from college who was a star football player at my school who now was playing in the NFL had a girl called "Joumanaβ„’" in his Top Ten Friends. She was Joumana Kidd, ex-wife of NBA star Jason Kidd. I remembered her because of the "β„’" after her name. Fast forward a couple years later, Joumana is on Let's Talk About Pep, a reality show featuring Pepa from Salt N Pepa, about her life and being single in her 40s and looking for love, etc. My girlfriend is watching, and she says "ummm... pretty sure Brandon is on TV right now." Sure enough, there's my old roommate, on a "blind date" with Joumana, who in the end decided he was good for a booty call but nothing more since he was much younger. But they totally played it like they didn't even know each otherπŸ˜‚
    Bonus shot of my roommate's fruity modeling pics. That's like my little brother to me, but c'mon manπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    www.theimagist.com/.../boss27.thumbnail.jpg

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What Girls Said 8

  • 3mo

    Bear Grills is a lyin' sack. All of his shit has been confirmed fake.

    But once again another great addition to the competition there lady! Good read!

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    • 3mo

      All of it has? Damn, Bear... you've been called out!

      Thank you, lovely. <3

    • 3mo

      Les Stroud indirectly called him out on the Joe Rogan podcast, and Joe Rogan straight up said his name. Les Stroud wouldn't fake shit for producers so they made Bear Grills' fake, shitty show as a result.

    • 3mo

      See, now I didn't know that.

      The more you know!

  • 3mo

    Like the girl New York from flavor flav. She's still famous till this day. Such a great drama queen

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  • 3mo

    I don't watch reality tv shows. I know they're completely fake and most are boring

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    • 3mo

      Understandable. Seems more people are turning away from them because they know it's not 100% real.

    • 3mo

      Haha yeah.
      But I'll always watch Top Gear/The Grand Tour

  • 3mo

    I don't watch reality TV that much. I tend to watch children's TV programs, NOVA documentaries, and sitcoms.

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    • 3mo

      Are you a Cartoon Network or Nick fan? :P

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    • 3mo

      I tend to watch the Public Broadcasting Station and various sitcoms.

    • 3mo

      Ohhh, gotcha. Sounds good. Arthur is still on PBS, I believe.

  • 3mo

    I can't stand reality tv, esp. since I feel like it's pretty much become a last resort for old, washed up celebrities/singers or one-hit wonders that can't get any work, but are desperate to keep making money and remain relevant somehow. It's sad, really

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  • 3mo

    Oh yeah...

    Did you know that reality-show producers actually FAVOR candidates with a documented history of mental illness?

    I mean... It all makes sense, really. They want DRAMA. They want The Shit To Go Down, in situations where 99.5 percent of normal people would just shrug their shoulders and get on with their lives.
    But... yeah. They very deliberately select a group of people with the most explosive possible mix of personalities and documented psychiatric histories.

    After all, imagine what "The Real World" or "Big Brother" would be like with a bunch of housemates who are just, like, normal people who get along just fine and make decent roommates. Boooorrrriing lol

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    • 3mo

      Oh, I totally believe that. I didn't know it, but I am not surprised whatsoever. I can't think of any specific situations off the top of my head, but I have watched shows where people go off the deep end... and you're just like, "What the fuck? Why did they just do that?"

    • 3mo

      Yep. They select for that.

  • 3mo

    I remember watching Keeeping up with the Kardashians for about 50 minutes and I couldn't tell you exactly what I watched because it was like watching nothing. All I could say was Kim ate a salad, Kylie was woken up by Kourtney's kids and Khloe was swearing at Kris (as usual). Reality TV is nonsense.

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    • 3mo

      I tried watching that show. I couldn't do it.

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    • 3mo

      Hey, don't diss bread. I love it. XD

    • 3mo

      Lol!

  • 3mo

    Oh, I know.

    Honestly, don't bother with it. Would take something spectacular to get me to watch.

    Tried and watched a few things.. Just didn't keep my interest

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    • 3mo

      What did you try to watch?

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    • 3mo

      I watched it for "sweetest bitch you'll ever meet". lol, the moment she said it, I liked her. XD

    • 3mo

      Sammi? Haha, that girl is gorgeous.

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