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ARE THEY REALLY REALITY SHOWS ?
Sachi Dudani | 14 Sep 2009

When the formats and patterns of functioning are the same;Majority of these acts seem staged and they are more than obvious. If that's how these show are run- pre-decided, planned and staged , then why even call them reality shows ?

Every entertainment channel has at least one reality show to its credit- be it a talent hunt contest, the quest for a singing and dancing sensation, search for the next superstar or stand-up comedian or the survival of pampered stars in unusual situations. True, they manage to catch the fancy of audiences but often fail to create a long term impact. Only a handful of us remember who the first Indian Idol was? No doubt these shows provide a fantastic platform for those who have talent and are looking for a break. They make life much easier for them for if they are liked by the big daddies of the industries, there would be no looking back. But the point is most of these shows, for that matter almost all the shows generally never end up changing lives of the winners- the viewers’ chosen one. We have hardly seen the winners ever after the end of the show. Throughout the show we fall in love with the participants and vote wholeheartedly for our favourites but never question as to where these ‘stars disappear’ after their win. Though we do see some, hosting other reality shows and some others participating in other shows. Every show has an ‘innovative’ format with a panel of excellent jury- comprising of an expert, a film producer\ director and a Bollywood bombshell (whose clothes and plunging necklines grab more eyeballs than the contestants themselves). At regular intervals they invite big stars as celebrity guests who obviously end up promoting their upcoming movies along with helping the show up their trps. There’s more to the shows. Often the highly opinionated jury members break into ‘impromptu’ arguments which are miraculously picked by every news channel and play it time and again for all those who missed the action.  Dissatisfied with the results or the process, invariably some parent of the child or the participants themselves put up a display of their emotions . Remember the never ending disagreements between music director Anu Malik and singer Alka Yagnik or  Rakhi Sawant’s  rage and tears on not being able to win a celebrity dance show? These shows are most remembered for the controversies they create rather than what they stand for. That’s what compels us to question the amount of ‘reality’ in them. Big Brother made waves across shores by highlighting Jade Goody’s racial comments on Shilpa Shetty to such an extent that Shilpa ended up as the winner of the by harnessing public sympathy. She’s now the sweetheart of Britain. Probably even Rakhi Sawant and Kashmira Shah were made to have cat fights in the Desi version of Big Brother- Big Boss. Or for that matter celebrities even fall in love during the shows but refuse to even see in the eye once the show comes to an end. A lot of long forgotten stars actually do a comeback (read Sonali Bendre and Raveena Tondon) by being a part of the jury of some of these shows, most are almost neglecting what they are known for and have made judging as their prime focus (read Farah Khan and Anu Malik).  When the formats and patterns of functioning are the same;Majority of these acts seem staged and they are more than obvious. If that’s how these show are run- pre-decided, planned and staged , then why even call them reality shows ?