When shows like The Real World first hit the airwaves, everyone was in awe of exposing a less scripted, more “real” TV show. While these shows are entertaining and may make us feel more connected to the characters we are viewing, they aren’t always as “real” as the show’s production team would like us to believe. It’s part of a producer’s job to produce the best show possible, that means creating memorable (and somewhat believable) characters, creating (or “capturing”) drama and conflict, and providing a cohesive plot thread for everything happening on the show. If these elements of show production didn’t exist, the shows we watched wouldn’t be as cohesive or linear as we have seen. In addition to the rise of these faked (or largely altered) reality shows, there has also been a rise in the world of “mockumentaries” which include shows like Animal Planet’s Mermaids and the channel’s most recent mockumentary, The Cannibal in the Jungle, which was scripted and completely fake.
Why are these shows so popular? Because we love reality television. We feel more connected when the word “reality” is slapped on a show, no matter how unbelievable a show may in fact be. It’s understandable that reality shows can’t be totally transparent, but these ten shows go beyond creating a tweak or two in characters or story lines to project a show that is totally fake. In these shows, we are given a scenario that is largely staged or altered. Does this impact the entertainment value of a show? Not necessarily. However, some people may feel differently knowing the truth behind the reality of their favorite reality shows.
10 House Hunters & House Hunters International
9 The Pickup Artist
8 Storage Wars
7 Alaskan Bush People
6 Duck Dynasty
5 Pimp My Ride
3 Master Chef
2 True Tori
1 Amish Mafia
Everyone loves getting a sneak peak into the lives of other people while in the comfort of their own living room. While people may know the basics of the Amish lifestyle and culture from living in an area that has a large Amish community, or simply learning about them from school and talking with family and friends, the Amish are known as a group of people who are reserved about their lifestyle. Mix in a little criminal minded drama and you’ve got a potential recipe for reality television gold. This was the basic premise of the Discovery channel television series Amish Mafia. Starting in 2012, the show Amish Mafia has seen a roller coaster of viewer intrigue and criticism. Many have questioned the validity of the actions of the cast members (namely Lebanon Levi) because of the simple fact that they’re promoting violence and other acts that go against the law. In the series sneak peak for the final season, the clip asserts that the show is real, yet this need to assert the “validity” of the show has some viewers even more skeptical of the show’s reality. While it may make for good television, it isn’t reality.
References: animalplanet.com, animalplanet.com, hookedonhouses.ne, latimes.com, abcnews.go.com, imdb.com, huffingtonpost.com, imdb.com, contactmusic.com, inquisitr.com, inquisitr.com, imdb.com, imdb.com, radaronline.com, discovery.com
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