Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Why “Reality TV” is More Real Than Most People Want to Believe

Why “Reality TV” is More Real Than Most People Want to Believe

The rapid and sustained rise of “reality television” is one of the most significant shifts in the nature and content for that medium since it came into existence. What started out with a few surprise hits in the late-1990s has become the dominant form of TV programming for the last few years. There were those who thought that reality TV was just another passing fad before people returned to the highly formulaic and bland TV shows which dominated TV for the previous 4-5 decades. However the success of reality TV and its subsequent metamorphosis into various subgenres have relegated conventional TV sitcoms to the background. But this post is not about trends in reality TV or the future of that genre. Instead it focuses on one of the main lines of criticisms leveled at such shows.

Reality-based TV shows are often lambasted for selecting, promoting and rewarding their participants based on their levels of superficiality, obnoxiousness, narcissism and ability to manipulate other people.

To put it another way, some critics of reality TV say that it depicts pretty, petty, egoistic and especially greedy sociopaths winning against ‘normal’ people. According to those same critics, this is supposedly “not realistic” and sets a bad example for viewers. They fear that it might convince ‘normal’ people to behave like vain, greedy, back-stabbing and manipulative assholes.

So, does this criticism hold any water? Does reality TV really reward pretty, vain, greedy and manipulative types more often than in real life? Is the attitude, behavior and mindset of those who win or become popular through reality shows significantly different from those who succeed in contemporary societies? Do we really reward honesty, integrity, competence and ability over looks, image and generic sociopathy?

Look around you. What do you see? What personality types are concentrated in high-earning and high-status professions?

Have you ever seen a competent CEO who is devoted to the future of the company they head or those who work for him (or her)? How many highly-paid CEOs have even a cursory understanding of the products and technologies their corporations make or develop? What about the board of directors and higher levels of management in corporations? How do these people reach those positions in the first place? Is it through knowledge, integrity or competence? Or is it through meeting and socializing with others at “elite” schools, universities and social clubs? How many rise to their positions from inside the corporation and how do they achieve that? Don’t most of them just parachute into their jobs because they know the ‘right’ persons?

Or take businessmen. Most want you to believe that they are truly special and deserve every penny they make. But do they? How many got successful because they were in the right place at the right time? How many benefited from having the ‘right’ contacts? How many were to screw over slightly less-sociopathic competitors or partners? How many inherited their wealth? Hoe many paid legislators to facilitate a ‘legal’ monopoly or oligopoly? How many lives were destroyed to pave their path to success? How many rely on government handouts to run their business well enough to make a profit? How many give anything back to the society that gave them all those handouts, special privileges and supplied their employees?

Some of you might believe that the ‘competence based’ professions such as medicine, law or academia are relatively free of such people. Well.. think again! Ever wonder what factors determine your acceptance into medical school? Sure, there are the so-called “objective” criteria such as your MCAT and GPA scores. But aceing those will only get you interviews. The final decision about admitting somebody into a monopoly-protected area such as medicine is based upon saying the “right” things, kissing the asses of the “right” people, pulling the right strings and generally pretending to be someone you are not.

Law school is not much better. Sure, the admission process in most reasonably good law programs is more meritocratic than medical school. But what about the outcome? Will a lawyer who has graduated from a reasonably good state university have the same career trajectory as someone who graduated from an ivy-league university? and why is that so? Is the lawyer from the reasonably good law school that much inferior to his (or her) counterpart from an ivy league law school? What if they have scored the same on all standardized tests and exams? Which brings me to next question- How do you get into an ivy league law school as opposed to one in an established state university? Is it just your LSAT score and GPA or is it more about knowing the “right” people, getting the “right” references, having the “right” CV profile and saying the “right” things?You get my point..

Academia is very similar to law school. Sure, you can get into a decent post-graduate degree program if you are reasonably smart and motivated. But what happens after that? Are you ever going to get an academic position, let alone one that is somewhat decently paid, unless you studied under the “right” academic in the “right” university? Can you really exercise academic freedom and support viewpoints that are not in fashion or considered to be “un-correct” (not incorrect)? Are you ever going to rise in the academic hierarchy unless you are a ruthless politician, slave driver and conman- all rolled into one.

The same is true in pretty much every other area of life. Society reward the most manipulative, narcissistic, dishonest and superficial with massive rewards that have no relation to the real contribution of those people to that society. At the same time- it also abuses, punishes and impoverishes those who are honest, competent and hard-working while simultaneously insisting that they should keep on playing the rigged game.

The unpleasant truth is that we reward people in real life for exactly the same reasons we reward them in reality TV shows. Therefore these shows are, at best, slight exaggerations of how society actually works in real life.

what do you think? Comments?

  1. July 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Seriously, do you ever write a bad article??!

    • JD
      July 18, 2013 at 3:03 am

      Seriously, do you ever stop reblogging?

  2. Webe
    July 18, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Up until now reality TV has always been a signal for me to zap past the channel.
    Perhaps I should pay it some attention as cultural phenomenon, if I can stay awake.

  3. P Ray
    July 18, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Here’s another example: Jersey Shore is an accurate depiction of human mating habits.
    It’s T-shirt time!

    • looks reality
      July 18, 2013 at 5:49 am

      Imagine jersey shore with Indian and Asian men, it would be as far away from reality as can be.

      • The Plague Doctor
        July 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      • P Ray
        July 19, 2013 at 1:24 am


        K-Town Reality show
        I can tell you that Asian/Indian women are as slutty as any other …
        they just pretend not to be, for raising their own “value”.

    • August 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Amen to that

  4. July 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    You know hat my favorite shows are? ‘Storgae Wars’ and ‘Container Wars’. I have always been fascinated how Americans like to trade with that trash. Unbelievable!

  5. July 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Virtually all “reality” shows are minor variants on musical chairs. Your basic game of attrition.

  6. looks reality
    July 19, 2013 at 3:13 am

    P Ray :

    K-Town Reality show
    I can tell you that Asian/Indian women are as slutty as any other …
    they just pretend not to be, for raising their own “value”.

    Yes, I am aware. Also, they are slutty when around whites, and conservative around incel men of their own race, as well as their parents.

    Just looked at the dislikes on that youtube video. All I know from my real life experience is that Asians are despised by most people. Sure they are tolerated as employees, but I`ve found that most of them, even the tall and decent looking ones, hang out mostly with asians and the occasional indian from their engineering circles. Pathetic.

    • EvilOne
      July 19, 2013 at 9:19 am

      “All I know from my real life experience is that Asians are despised by most people.”
      ROFL… so they are despised by ‘people’ huh? Cocksucker.

  7. looks reality
    July 19, 2013 at 3:16 am
    • P Ray
      July 19, 2013 at 8:15 am

      The only words that come to mind as I see the BNP Paribas abomination of advertising:
      My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou] far from my salvation, from the words of my groaning?

  8. looks reality
    July 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

    EvilOne :
    “All I know from my real life experience is that Asians are despised by most people.”
    ROFL… so they are despised by ‘people’ huh? Cocksucker.

    Yup, nobody likes them for anything other than moderately paid employees, and women as sex toys for the lower-tier white guys who can’t get laid in their own race. Face it, they have no other place in western society, absolutely none, they are parasites.

    • P Ray
      July 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

      nobody likes them for anything other than moderately paid employees
      If you pay employees at all, and they’re careful with their spending … they can start to earn more with investments elsewhere, and possibly challenge an existing business with its bureaucracy and brown-nosing.

      There’s no such thing as a world without poverty, and smart people gain permanent residencies in many countries so they can pick the right person for themselves and move forward with their lives.

      You can only have moderately paid employees … if you ensure nobody else hires them for more. It’s a wonderful fairytale, but not sustainable.
      P.S. Even Apple pays terribly, Apple Maps product development manager earns only USD85,000 per year. And the era of secure employment is over.

      There are more people at the bottom of the pyramid than at the top.

      • looks reality
        July 19, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Yes, most people will never earn enough to maintain their middle or upper middle class lifestyles through investments/savings, it is a pipe dream.

  9. The Plague Doctor
    July 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    “looks reality” == http://survivingincel.wordpress.com/

    Correct?

    • looks reality
      July 20, 2013 at 3:35 am

      If that was me, I would be posting under that name. Also, the fact that you know of that blog is proof that you’re incel.

      • The Plague Doctor
        July 20, 2013 at 8:47 am

        Nah, that survivingincel guy posted on dissention’s blog some time ago, and he also has the same roidfag lovecrush on JIZZ, er… I mean ZYZZ.

        He has some regular female readership, are they also “incel”?

        Also, I’ve lost respect for your idioti you and your idiotic obsessions, idiotic reasoning, and idiotic accusations.

        There are good reasons why mgtowforums.com bans all self-described incel morons.

    • August 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      haha, looks like I am a lot more famous than I thought. As much as my admiration for Azziz Shaversian, its not really his looks as much as his philosophy. I never used steroids but I relate to his story. Hate on me its your choice

      • looks reality
        August 6, 2013 at 7:03 am

        that you bro?

      • August 6, 2013 at 9:57 am

        yep

  10. Ray Manta
    July 20, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Yup, nobody likes them for anything other than moderately paid employees, and women as sex toys for the lower-tier white guys who can’t get laid in their own race.

    You sound too much like a butthurt white woman past her prime to be a convincing troll.

    Face it, they have no other place in western society, absolutely none, they are parasites.

    How do you suggest we order society? I see an awful lot of snot-nosed “intellectuals” who want the so-called “lower tier” of society to go away while they help themselves to its goodies. Or at least they do until their car needs towing.

    • looks reality
      July 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

      The Plague Doctor :
      Nah, that survivingincel guy posted on dissention’s blog some time ago, and he also has the same roidfag lovecrush on JIZZ, er… I mean ZYZZ.
      He has some regular female readership, are they also “incel”?
      Also, I’ve lost respect for your idioti you and your idiotic obsessions, idiotic reasoning, and idiotic accusations.
      There are good reasons why mgtowforums.com bans all self-described incel morons.

      I have mixed views on zyzz. In one way he reminds me of myself (before roids), but his inferior genes were his downfall, he tried to fight his genes and lost, setting a bad example for incels into bodybuilding.

      Just because he likes zyzz doesn’t make him me. Lots of people on the internet (guys who don’t get laid first and foremost) like zyzz. I also mentioned that I wasn’t chinese, like the guy who wrote that blog.

      Lol. what female would read that blog? the only reason normal dudes and women go on the internet is to check scores of professional sports or talk to friends on facebook. People who read blogs about incel are usually incel, and women are never incel.

    • looks reality
      • Ray Manta
        July 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

        I am a non-white male,

        Well congratulations. You still sound like a butthurt white woman on the cusp of menopause. Not saying you are, you just sound like one.

        and not being a troll.

        If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

        Even dissention has posts about them:

        So what? Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and they tend to stink.

  11. looks reality
    July 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Ray Manta :
    I am a non-white male,
    Well congratulations. You still sound like a butthurt white woman on the cusp of menopause. Not saying you are, you just sound like one.
    and not being a troll.
    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
    Even dissention has posts about them:
    So what? Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and they tend to stink.

    Yes, I am not fun to listen to. Stay mad bro. stay mad.

    • Ray Manta
      July 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Yes, I am not fun to listen to.

      Hmm, I guess not. If I had a rating system for egotistical know-it-alls who grind an axe like a white woman with diminishing sex appeal, you might make the first quartile. I suppose that’s some kind of accomplishment.

      Stay mad bro. stay mad.

      The few trolls who get me mad end up in my killfile. You’ll need to up your game if that’s what you want.

      • looks reality
        July 21, 2013 at 2:21 am

        I’m so glad you at least consider me white (I am not).

  12. July 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Hey Advocatus,

    You should be like this guy


    No, I am not an uncle tom.

    • P Ray
      July 21, 2013 at 1:31 am

      Just one question:
      Is the situation where a woman bears all female kids (and there is more than 1 child),
      probably due to the use of birth-control pills?

      See this very often, my theory is that:
      it’s possible that these women having many daughters and no sons, were taking those pills for a very long time.

      Would appreciate any input to that theory.

      • looks reality
        July 21, 2013 at 2:23 am

        All I know is the kids gonna have dark brown or black hair by the time they are old enough to date. By mixing her race, the woman screwed her kids over.

      • P Ray
        July 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

        Well, the other thing is,
        other people have pointed out that after the age of 20 almost EVERY average guy is marrying a slut.
        Could that be a reason behind the sudden surge of “all-female” births?
        Very few people I know personally have male children.
        Very weird. And possibly a demographic timebomb.

    • looks reality
      July 21, 2013 at 2:20 am

      HAHAHAHAAHAH gupta is ugly as sin even for an Indian, he’s an example of a cuckold, scum.

      • JD
        July 21, 2013 at 11:01 am

        Stick around. It’s good to have opposing views, no matter how much people disagree. Unless it gets annoying, of course.

  13. looks reality
    August 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    survivingincel :
    yep

    Get money, and become a sex tourist in poor countries. That’s all that you can do at this point really. I’m planning on doing the same thing after I spend a few years working.

    • P Ray
      August 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Make sure you become your own boss.
      Quite a lot of “alpha” guys, whiteknights and ball-busting bitches,
      would like a guy they notice not paying any attention to regular trends as normal sheeple would,
      to be punished, humiliated and on the hook begging them for scraps.

      And as for “sex tourist in poor countries” … there are runaways, women escaping violent relationships, those on the bad side of 30 looking for their beta, and simply rebound girls too.

      The thing to remember is, if you are chosen last … no need to put them first.

      • P Ray
        August 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

        Oh, and in case some femnut wants to complain about “coercion” or “slavery” or “exploitation” …
        if the guy you expect to pay for you is not getting anything other than your ephemeral company,
        why are you with him then?
        Unless the men you do not have sex with, are actually the men you love.
        But that would make it weird, since you then have children with men you do not love, so that you can give a guy you love a step-family.
        All this, without asking the guy first.
        Women are very presumptuous.

        P.S. Every interaction is a transaction.

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