From the Editor
Reality TV – Real, Scripted or A bit of Both?
I hate to admit it but I watch The Bachelor.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How can you watch that show? Followed by, you know, it’s scripted and not reality TV, right?
I don’t know why I am hooked on the show, it grew on me a couple of seasons ago when I came across it whilst flipping channels, and yes I know it’s not reality TV; rather it’s heavily edited reality TV.
There’s a popular saying out there; be careful what you say on shows like The Bachelor because it can and will be used against you. Footage will be taken and pieced together in a creative and entertaining way. I’m sure people who appear on the show are aware of this, but yet they still seem shocked when the show airs a few months later and they are portrayed in a certain (negative) light.
What surprises me is that after a certain episode airs — usually one that contains a ridiculous amount of drama — viewers of the show take to social media to learn more about a particular contestant. Who is this person? Is this all an act? Are they really so (manipulative, uncaring, crazy, etc.) in real life?
What surprises me even more is that once viewers find said contestant, they take to leaving very strong, judgmental, hurtful comments about them on entertainment websites that provide commentary on the show, as well as the contestant’s Facebook or Twitter pages. The condemnation is swift and often very harsh. Few comments are positive, and if they are, then tend to be by those who actually know the contestant in real life.
I’m not gonna lie. Sometimes I too have thought harsh things about a certain contestant given what I’ve seen on the show, but I’ve never taken to social media to voice my comments. (Only my husband hears them as he’s the only person I know who watches the show besides me.) I keep my comments to myself, because at the end of the day I know The Bachelor is scripted TV designed to create drama to get ratings. And no matter how questionable a particular contestant’s character is, I don’t know them in real life to know whether what I see (or am being led to believe) is true or not.
But hey, in the entertainment business, any publicity is good publicity, right?
There are some contestants who, although they don’t like the negative attention, they like the attention nonetheless. And they use it to their advantage. Some contestants appear on the show in the hopes of catapulting their career in showbiz. Some use the show to get eyeballs on them in other pursuits, for instance to launch their book or singing career. Some just want to be on TV and get their 15 minutes of fame. And finally, there are those who want to be on the show to find love and eventually get married.
It’s hard to tell who is genuinely on the show for this last reason. (Usually the contestants that tend to get a lot of one-on-one time in front of the camera during “confessionals” aren’t usually the ones that make it to the final 4.) But if psychology has taught me one thing in life, it’s that your non-verbal cues say a heck of a lot more about you than your verbal cues, and with some of the contestants on the show, what they’re saying on the show isn’t as telling as how they’re saying it! . . . That’s the kind of stuff that even the best kind of “reality TV” can’t script.
About the Author
Wendy Chiavalon is the Editor-in-Chief of The Local Biz Magazine. She lives in Ajax with her family. She loves watching Pixar movies, salsa dancing, road trips and of course, baking and eating cakes (who wouldn’t)?! In her spare time, she doubles as a cake decorator, baking and decorating cakes and other goodies for special occasions. You can check out some of her work at www.wendyscakeshoppe.com and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wendyscakeshoppe