I remember all these years ago as a kid, having this long drawn out argument with my brother about how tv wrestling was so fake, and how he argued so hard against me that it was real..."see how they get hit." Of course years later, we know these are choreographed fights and though they can and do do get hurt from time to time, even die sometimes, it's not spontaneous wrestling like you would see in an actual match. Now we are at a point in time where there is a reality tv program for everything...home building, cooking, dating, random people's lives, everything, and just like my brother of yesteryear, there are still people who believe that everything they see on tv is 100% real...because it's on tv. Hate to burst your bubble but...
1. Everyone is an actor/planted/fake
Whenever you see a host walk into a building and "randomly" pick someone or somebody just happens to walk by and then something happens, know that that someone has already signed a contract or been previously hired to "play the part." In case you didn't know, unless you are in a public place, typically one that is outdoors like a park or a concert, a tv production crew cannot just show your face on tv without your express permission. If you ever want to know who is really real on a show, it's those people who's faces have been blurred out because they haven't signed a contract or didn't want to appear on a show...everyone else has been contracted to be there or allowed themselves to be filmed and have typically been told how to act or react prior to any "surprises" happening.
2. Everyone knows about filming
You know how a show will come out and a few months later someone on that show will sue because of something filmed or edited a certain way. Ever wonder why those lawsuits never go anywhere? Well, it's because everyone knows they are being filmed. Contracts for these shows are extensive and require several lawyers with several degrees. Every contestant and person shown is told they may be edited in certain ways and that there are cameras everywhere filming 24/7. Here is one such example of part of a contract:
"“The rights granted to Producer also include, but are not limited to, the rights to edit, cut, rearrange, adapt, dub, revise, modify, fictionalize, or otherwise alter the Material, and I waive the exercise of any ‘moral rights.’ I understand that my appearance, depiction, and portrayal in connection with the series may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing, or of an otherwise unfavorable nature, may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation, or condemnation, and may portray me in a false light.”
3. ...and yes, everything is edited and scripted and time does not exist
Everything from the tears, to the fights, to the late night love sessions...all scripted and/or primed by producers to happen. No one is going to tune in to what a real reality show would be like: people having coffee, trimming their toenails, watching Netflix...no one wants to see what they already do in their own lives on tv. They want drama and because real drama in ones life doesn't happen every second, they script it. The producers will tell individuals that if you want more screen time, you need to do this or that or you won't be seen. Sometimes they are flat out told even before the show begins that we hired you to be the nerdy sweet guy or the bitchy girl or the controversial one.
As far as time goes, producers will often make you wear the same clothes from day to day to make editing and filming easier until they get what they want. A scene you see on tv that seems like it took place over an hour, could have taken 3 days to film, but the magic of editing and no clothing changes, makes it that one hour. Any time you see a scene going on, and cameras cut away, but like you hear voices talking...that other scene was filmed at another time.
4. Those home builders know ahead of time about the problems in your renovation house
There isn't a half ways good contractor on this planet who would ever advise a home owner to start renovating their house without a budget set aside in case of problems. You're gutting an old house...of course, there will be problems. On a show like Property brothers, they always make it seem like the home owners or they aren't aware of the problems in a house amongst other things, but they are...the application states a couple of things really like...
--must have 20% contingency budget, and $70,000+budget for renovations
--list the property you have already purchased for renovations (that's right...that real estate brother isn't actually doing much because they've already bought the house and all that showing of houses is fake since they already know which house they are going to renovate)
--must be aware certain rooms will not get touched or may be impossible to do (all that shock about a room not being done is not real, they knew they wouldn't get everything)
--must be energetic and opinionated
--must have a partner to be on the show, no singles allowed (or they must come with friend or family member)
--in 7 weeks, will only film with brothers 8-10 days that you need to be available
--most of the staging furnishings are the property of the show, and must be purchased if the owners want to keep them
Shows like Property brothers are very formulaic. The houses have already been purchased (notice how NO homeowner is ever really rejected from buying a home...b/c they've already bought it before the show began!) they already know about damages to a house and have the owners have a budget set aside (hence they aren't really surprised to find things that need serious repairs), and the home shopping on the show is totally fake because the people have long ago bought their house.
5. Producers pick the winners
Awe that's cute...you still think the judges get to pick the winners. Nope. Producers want to sell you something...they know from the first episode who they are scripting to win---usually the outgoing, bitchy, crazy, or underdog "character." You know that feeling you get midway through a show like, why are they only showing this person all the time...is not all in your head. It really isn't hard to figure out who is going to win a show...just look at who from the start seems to get the most screen time...on purpose. I mean you don't even see some contestants but a few seconds an episode here or there if they've been slated to lose.
6. They knew you were gay...addicted to drugs...and were adopted
If some kid sitting in his basement with a laptop and five minutes can track down the fact that you flunked out of college, you think a highly budget reality show hasn't already done the same? You don't just walk in the door and have an interview and you get in. You go through psych evals, they call everyone you've ever known, slept with, worked with, done..anything with...they know your police records, and they know you're gay. So all of this, I have a secret and I'm going to reveal it now, is BS. Producers have said, this is when and where and who we want you to reveal your secret to, and cry, and let's have your mom "happen to show up" that day.
7. Your job is fake
When you see someone working on camera to pay the bills, here is a reality check...all their living expenses and then some are covered whilst on the show. They may put you in a shop to film a few days at this so called job you must work, but they can then take those 2-3 days and stretch them for what seems like the entire season before you somehow manage to be fired or you "quit," because you never really worked there in the first place. Let's go back to the start...think of the logistics of having to blur out or contract out all the people to sit there where you are everyday "working" in order to film. It would be expensive and a nightmare to edit.
8. Producers create situations behind the scenes
Producers are essentially your enemy as a reality show contestant. Their jobs are to create drama for the screen, so even behind the scenes they will keep people apart, not allow you to call home or see family friends, have your cell phone, watch tv, nothing. You get off set, you are shuttled to a hotel room with no tv and no phone, where you are not allowed to leave without a chaperone until the next days filming. Not hard to imagine how some people would struggle to handle this, and then they needle these people and pull on heart strings and manipulate them further knowing you've had a conversation BTS how angry you are about your own situation off set, to get you to react on set because it's all part of the game for producers to get ratings. So you may see someone getting angry but it might not actually be at another contestant one the show, but again, the magic of editing, and anything can happen.