Where do you think the future of reality television shows is heading? Will new forms of technology for example make an impact?

The demands for reality shows are exceptionally high among younger streamers as they are dehydrated by old-fashion context and most importantly have more chances to access various internet platforms than the rest of the generations. In recent years, public attention has been largely positive on ordinary celebrities, Dowling, the Guardian,2017) explained that young YouTubers began their business by dismissed the distance between ordinary and celebrity who believed to be unreachable. He stated, “ they started to wonder why our boring lives weren’t being filmed and broadcast, and so we started doing it ourselves, posting pictures of our arms online, like the Kardashians do.” Therefore I belief that Youtubers will be one of the main features in future reality shows since their enormous fanbase would help to establish a sufficient amount of promotion and concerns. The cyberspace is a borderless field that connects people across the globe. The influential status and net worth of internet celebrities motivate and aspire the ordinaries. The closer they feel to the performers the more sense or believe of reality they could get. 

In order to apply a high degree of reality, producers are required to understant streamers’ most desire which motivates their concern on the program and guarantees its ratings. Based on Wiltz and Reiss’s (2004) 16 fundamental human desires which are power, curiosity, independence, statue, romance, social contract, idealism, vengeance, honor,  physical exercise, saving, family order and eating acceptance tranquility, show producers capture the psychological condition and socio-cultural tendency by fulfilling their desire through onscreen performances. In the last decades, audiences in reality television shifted from distance viewers into direct participants. The Bachelor(2002), Keeping up with the Kardashians(2007), Survivor(2000-) to The Masked Singer (2019-), etc. We could trace and make an insight into the socio-cultural tendency through following the patterns of “reality”. Most of the recent reality shows are highly featured in public audience’s live participation, for instance, online or telephone voting. This is a critical characteristic in performing/singing/competitive shows because audiences’ desire a particular bias (to win a certain prize) would directly increase the investment and popularity of the show. “The reality television genre now dominates schedules, combining empathy and observation in a different way.” (Mountfort,2018).Therefore, this technology will thrive for a long while. Although the voting systems were reported to lack of transparency. Yet young audiences still enjoy the collective power of influencing the contestants’ outcome rather than win or lost. This is a phenomenon in Asian countries as fanbases often assemble their group of voters and continuously use different accounts to vote on the program website. 

In conclusion, I hope that reality tv will be more concern with the diverse public interest (not just money and love) and tendencies amongst young communities. If filming technology advances, more professional fields, like the space programs which set outside our earth, will be welcomed to the majority as it’s rare for the public to access outer earth via efforting private spaceships. 

Sophie Tse 16912888


Wiltz, J. and Reiss, S.(2004)Why People Watch Reality TV. Media Philosophy.vol. 6 (4):363-379. 10.1207/s1532785xmep0604_3

Dowling, T.(2017) We laugh, we cry, we cringe: reality TV turns 20. The Guadian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/

Lamb, B.(2016)Cathy Come Off Benefits: A comparative ideological analysis of Cathy Come Home and Benefits Street. Journalism and Discourse studies. Retrieved from https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4929988-dt-content-rid-10599612_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Cathy%20Come%20Off%20Benefits_%20A%20comparative%20ideological%20analysis%20of%20Cathy%20Come%20Home%20and%20Benefits%20Street%281%29.pdf 

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