World not realistic enough say reality show fans
Reviews from reality show fans suggest that the real world falls short of their expectations, and unless steps are taken quickly to improve the situation, they will give up on it.
Cynthia Narwhal was inspired by the series The Apprentice to get a receptionist job at a real estate development company. But instead of intense competition and huge challenges, she was appalled to find that her work involved endless weeks of drudgery.
“For sure, the company was not nearly as realistic as the series,” she said. “I was never given the opportunity to design an advertising campaign in two days, or organize a fancy dinner for a visiting Hollywood celebrity. I mainly just answered phones and did photocopies.”
The rules of the company were also poorly defined, complained Narwhal.
“When I started work there, there were more than one hundred other employees, but at the end of a year, most of them were still there, except for a few on mat leave. Hardly anyone had been eliminated, and a few new ones had been added in the middle of the season. It was totally unclear how anyone was supposed to win.”
Outraged, Narhwal left the company, but even her departure fell far short of expectations: “I was not taken to a limousine or invited to give a speech about my feelings for the other contestants.”
Hers is not an isolated experience. Thousands of other reality show fans have lodged protests about the complete lack of accuracy and consistency in the world.
Charles Cross is a self-confessed reality show fanatic, who decided to “take it up a notch” by embarking on a real-life Survivor experience.
“I went to the Turks and Caicos islands with a group of friends,” explained Cross. “It was great at first – we ate food, and had drinks with umbrellas in. There were even a few romantic escapades. But time went on, and nothing much happened. We were not issued any challenges. At one point, I found a large bug. I ate it in front of everyone, but did not receive any bonus or immunity. People just said it was gross, and one lady was sick.”
At the end of the day, far from winning millions of dollars, Cross found that he was thousands of dollars in debt.
“Despite all the time I’d put in to make the realty work, they had charged me for everything – travel, food, drinks. I was disgusted.”
Cross says that many of his friends have since experienced similar disappointments, including one group who shared a house without arguments or serious incidents, and a female friend who has long dreamed of being a singer, but has never been offered a recording contract.
Psychologist Marlene Hibbett believes that we are seeing a disturbing trend, in which the world is shifting away from reality, and becoming a chaotic and irrational jumble of random events.
Said Hibbet, “Reality shows have set the bar high when it comes to showing us what is real, and people quite naturally expect these standards to apply across the board, But the sad fact is that although this planet bills itself as the real world, it is actually not realistic at all, compared to even the worst reality shows. The goals are poorly conceived, the contestants are uninteresting, and there’s no storyline to speak of.”
Hibbett warns that, without changes, sensible people will simply give up on jobs, careers and relationships, and stick to the TV versions, which do things properly.
“Employers and governments need to make sure that there is a way for men and women of all creeds and colors to form teams,” she said, “so they can kick out the people they hate the most. And, and the end of the day, there has to be only one winner. That’s what reality is about, and the world had better make some improvements if it wants to measure up and be considered real.”