Stranger than life? Reality TV as a mirror of morals

Published on December 28, 2013

Stranger than life? Reality TV as a mirror of morals

    “High things must contain low, albeit in a different state” (c) Plato

    Tell me, it would be very interesting for you to watch the program, where they spend hours knitting? Norwegians are interested: more than 1.2 million descendants of the formidable Vikings watched the stitching of a sweater for more than 12 hours, supporting their champions and giving them recommendations in online chat. All this is just to break Australia's knitting record. It didn’t work out . But in general, something similar from an extremely prosperous kingdom was to be expected.

    There are more grotesque broadcasts of this genre. For example, Ready4Marriage: Zambian show, where teams consisting of future couples compete in cleaning toilets, ironing clothes and mopping floors - all for a subsidy of $ 9 thousand (large, by local standards, money + winners will receive full payment for the wedding) for the newlyweds. “Well, what - the future wife should be able to clean up the house” - say the creators of the program. The reviewers have mixed impressions, but the audience likes it and they ask for continuation. The third season turned out to be especially popular, where they were preparing for marriage ... um, former "priestesses of love . " By the way, it’s a pretty good idea that helps to rehabilitate dysfunctional citizens.



    In Pakistan, in the religious television quiz “Aman Ramadan”, the winners receive motorcycles, kitchen utensils, furniture and ... children: not so long ago, an unsuspecting married couple who won the competition was presented with a baby . The child was found by volunteers from a local NGO dealing with abandoned children. And, characteristically, the newly made parents were satisfied and the child is now growing up in the family.

    Following the precepts of Hurst, the creators of television programs do not forget about the basic instinct. In the British Sex Box program, in full accordance with the name, people have sex in an isolated cell, to then leave there and discuss what happened with the host and the audience. All of this has a high meaning - the show is part ofChannel 4 pornography campaigns : i.e. It’s as if they convey to people "the truth about real sex." On the other side of the British Empire, things are going well on this front too: in the Australian reality show with the “speaking” name Virgins Wanted, the main participants were engaged ... well, I will tell you frankly - selling the first night with me. The government threatened the creator of the program with accusations of organizing sex traffic, and a participant from Brazil won, having received almost $ 780 thousand (from a 53-year-old Japanese businessman). But don’t worry - she said there was nothing . Then she did announce the start of a new auction.

    But not all the same obscene jokes to joke, reality shows can perform useful functions. If you remember, in the 1970s Cambodia suffered from the Khmer Rouge regime - 2 million people were killed, many people disappeared and many families were destroyed. In the program “This is not a dream,” the host and the audience are reuniting families with missing relatives, and it turns out very well for them . Since the start of the transfer, more than a thousand families have filed applications and not everyone has managed to help yet, but given the trace Pol Pot left in the life of the country, the transfer is more than relevant.

    All these TV shows are very different. Funny and sad, religious and obscene, but they all have one thing in common - these are different curious forms of interaction with the audience. People are successfully involved in the dialogue, simultaneously solving some social problems: former prostitutes get a chance to start a new life in a country with a depressingly low level of GDP per capita, adolescents from developed countries become much smarter and more circumspect in matters of intimate life, orphans gain loving parents, families reunite after years of separation, and the Norwegians ... well, the Norwegians argue that maybe I was wrong about the negative impact of the reality show on people. In general, it pleases that today the viewer still determines the agenda on TV to a much greater extent than it was in the 1990s.