I hate to open a post like this, but, with a few exceptions, I cannot stand reality television. Even the use of the “reality” to describe it gives it too much dignity in my opinion, and as with most genres that I vehemently dislike I don’t really consume it.
However, I am expected to engage with it on some level for this course, as such I’ve decided to talk a little bit about where I think reality TV is going and I think it’s going online.
Not in the same way that television and film are generally heading online with the rising ubiquity of streaming services, but in a more independent, viewer and producer way.
The only reality show that I can stomach is on YouTube and it’s called Buzzfeed Unsolved, it’s also an exception to my general distaste for Buzzfeed. The hosts Shane Madej and Ryan Bergara investigate unsolved crimes and alleged supernatural occurrences and while they make fun of each other they do so in a way that friends often do, making fun of each other’s quirks and polar opposite opinions on whether or not the supernatural exists. They also take and answer questions from the audience (Bergara, 2016). This is where I think that YouTube is the future of reality tv, YouTube more than television allows for interaction between the audience and the producers that television does not. This adds to the feeling of seeing real people doing real things and the perceived connection between the average person and the people they see in their entertainment as spoken of by Blitvich & Lorenzo-Dus (2013)
There is a very dark side to this, however, as spoken of, again by Blitchish & Lorenzo-Dus (2013) controversy breeds views and YouTube breeds money. This is my honest opinion has lead to, among other things the trainwreck in slow motion that was Logan Paul’s visit to Japan. if you wanna talk about impoliteness, let’s talk about Logan Paul going out into a forest known as a suicide location, filming the body of a suicide victim and uploading it to YouTube and leaving it there until the controversy was such that he had no choice but to take it down (ABC News, 2018). Despite all of this, he’s still around and still making videoes. I don’t see this as much more tasteless than what reality tv usually gets up to. As far as I know, they’ve never done that, but I wouldn’t put it past them given the “all publicity is good publicity” mindset.
Blitvich, P. G., & Lorenzo-Dus, N. (2013). Real Talk: Reality Television and Discourse Analysis in Action. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan Limited.
Bergara, R. (Producer). (2016). Buzzfeed unsolved [Television series]. New York, NY: YouTube.
ABC News. (2018, January 2). YouTube star under fire for video of apparent suicide victim [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjNFGZLJLss