UNITED STATES—Oh, there is something about reality television that makes it a guilty pleasure. Any guesses as to what I am referring to? DRAMA!!! Yes, that is the prime reason so many of us our sutured by reality television which has become a staple on television, we love drama. Unfortunately, there is a trend that I am seeing more and more on reality series from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” to “Bad Girls Club” to “Love and Hip Hop” and the “Teen Mom” series is the level of violence.
It’s so over the top that it’s quite scary. The last two episodes of the “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” exploded with major violence, not actually involving the women; it was actually their husbands who got in on the action. We’ve seen some cat-fights on the series, but nothing to this epic proportion. The issue at hand is not this particular series; it’s the amount of violence on reality shows period! There seems to be an escalating amount of trash-talking, fist-punching, face-slapping antics on a vast majority of reality series starring African-American women.
The scary element is the question of perception, with a camera following you around nearly 24-7, the real you is certain to be exposed at some point, but some would argue, having a camera around 24-7 keeps you guarded at all times because you are aware that you are being watched. We can go back to the notion of people behaving ”˜normally’ in front of a camera, but it’s an argument that is difficult to prove true because we are all aware that being watched causes people to change how they are perceived on camera.
Am I saying these ladies are acting out because the camera is in for not them? No. My argument is they are acting out in front of the camera because they know it makes good television, but also in essence they are getting paid to do it. No one shows up for reality TV without expecting to receive some sort of compensation; the more people talk about you the more you make. Think of the primary players on MTV’s “ Jersey Shore.” The first season, the cast made measly amounts of income compared to what they generated for the second and third seasons; notably, those more popular than others earned even more revenue for their roles.
The frightening factor in this entire melee is what it says about the American culture since we continue to consume such bad behavior. Are we saying its okay for women to behave this way in the limelight? Are we advocating for such behavior to become more popular on television or on the Internet? For those not in the know, YouTube has become a staple ground for women to beat up one another and post it online for the masses to view.
It’s scary because so many people find it entertaining when they should be disgusted by what is transpiring. This is not something we should be promoting to children, especially to young girls who may be exposed to such behavior and assume its ok, its not. The unfortunate side effect is reality TV is here to stay, but be warned as some have said time and time again, the day reality television will cease to exist is when someone gets seriously hurt or dies.
It hasn’t quite gone there yet, but with the envelope continuing to be pushed for ratings; it’s only a matter of time before something of this nature could possibly take effect. Be warned entertainment is not so entertaining, when the injured party is not laughing.