Darren Murphy: back to ‘reality’ – again.

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Television, it’s all become a bit painful, hasn’t it?

Admittedly, I don’t watch a huge amount of telly, I’m often too involved in writing to give the T.V. any consideration and the precious free time I do have is usually spent reading books or educating myself on various topics.

Occasionally, though, I get through my work or I’m not in the mood to read, so I sit down for a night of relaxation in front of the screen. In fact I often study the T.V. listings in the newspaper, meticulously searching for something stimulating to watch. Every now and then I find an appealing documentary or sometimes a movie.

There are times, however, where I simply turn the television on and flick through the channels aimlessly searching for something, anything to grab my attention. What strikes me almost every time is the soul destroying realisation that on at least every second channel is a dreadful reality show.

Reality T.V. has taken over our screens, the popularity of these shows has soared way beyond peoples estimations. It’s big business for broadcasters and extremely cost-effective considering these shows range anything from a quarter to half the price it would cost for a scripted production.

But, seriously, haven’t we seen enough?

Of course, everyone has a right to watch whatever they like and the statistics don’t lie – reality shows pull in the viewers. However I’m concerned about the wellbeing of television if we continue to prefer some of these simply vile programmes.

Listen, I’m an extremely placid being but on witnessing a few of these programmes at first hand, I became so infuriated I wanted to put my size nine foot through the T.V. screen.

Take Big Brother, for example: a house filled with an entire platoon of egomaniac morons, each contestant as deluded as the next about how important or famous they are going to become.

Then we have TOWIE, or The Only Way Is Essex. This is a show where the women are so faked up if you sealed them in a tidy box and put them on display in Toys ’R’ Us , you could be forgiven for thinking you were purchasing a life-size Barbie doll.

Then there’s Geordie Shore, seriously the worst programme I have ever endured – hands down!

Unfortunately, I once had the displeasure of setting eyes on this show. Yes, just once, but I can assure you it was one time too many to observe this monstrosity. The “lads” as they are self-proclaimed are unbearably vain and undignified, whilst the “lasses” can’t be described in words without using obscene language. It’s quite fitting really, seen as they only speak a language consisting of rude gestures and derogatory remarks. It didn’t take me long to realise why many Geordies are quick to distance themselves from the idiotic cast members of The Shore. I sincerely hope that this ghastly show doesn’t influence a stereotypical view of Geordie men and women.

British T.V. has been dragged down the gutter by these programmes. Whatever happened to educational, entertaining and informative telly?

It must be frustrating for actors and actresses out there with real talent, having their opportunities limited by these horrific and manipulative shows which take up all the air time. These shows produce celebrities out of some people whom have simply ridden their luck and not contributed any talent or skill to anything in their entire life. It’s rather unfair if you ask me. But, hey! That’s life, isn’t it?

How much further can these shows go? We’ve had fisticuffs, racial abuse, sex, exploitation of mentally unhealthy contestants. How much more controversial can these programmes become?

Eventually are we going to see people fight to the death on national T.V. just for viewer amusement? Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t society move on from this centuries ago?

“Reality” these shows may be, but the viewing public are being deceived by the unrealistic take on life that these productions emit.

It might be entertaining to you, but me, not at all. I think I will stick to my book or play with my Ken doll, living in hope that this craze of damaging reality T.V. will eventually dissipate into the past and then I just might be able to kick back and enjoy some quality television again.