Back in 1998, a movie was released called The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey. Aside from being a great film, it was about a young man who thought he was living a real life in a fake world. In essence, it was a clash of reality and non-reality. In fact, the protagonist was living a lie.
Now, pretending to live in reality in a non-reality based world became the vogue, when a year later the sci-fi, confusing nonsense that was The Matrix surfaced. Confusing what was apparently real with what not was real came in vogue.
A year after the cinematic releases of The Truman Show, and The Matrix, television caught on to the idea, and enhanced what we now lovingly call ‘reality television’, especially with the advent of Channel 4’s Big Brother (Which incidentally started as a televised experiment in social deprivation on Dutch TV, in how people could cope without the influence of the outside world, in front of hidden camera’s – An almost guinea pig experiment, except using human beings). British television took the concept, and ran it into the ground. All of a sudden, reality TV became a carnival of freaks living out an unrealistic lifestyle.
By 2010, due to falling ratings Big Brother was mercifully axed from Channel 4 (Only to be picked up by Channel 5). However, the ‘reality TV’ genre evolved. In fact, TV once accused of “dumbing itself down” did indeed do that.
Step forward The Only Way Is Essex, Geordie Shore, etc.
These are supposedly ‘scripted-reality programmes’ – so in effect, they’re reality, with non-reality. Scripted reality? Isn’t that fiction? Apparently, not. A few years ago, TOWIE (As it is now termed, because the fans are probably too stupid to use full words) actually won a television BAFTA. This ‘award winning’ series contained a scene where one of the idiots attempted to light his own fart.
However, television viewers lapped this up like a dog returning to its own vomit.
To compound this, rather like Jim Carrey’s character in The Truman Show, upon realising his life was a televised lie, and broke out to live a real life, casualties of TOWIE have indeed done the exact same thing.
However, unlike The Truman Show, the so-called protagonists of TOWIE have left ‘structured reality’ to enter a world where ‘reality’ is all but an afterthought.
A few months ago, Essex’s resident boxhead Joey Essex entered an Australian jungle, where it transpired the bleached-toothed moron didn’t know how to tell the time. His reward? His very own TV series on ITV2, entitled Educating Joey Essex, where he is basically allowed to go on a paid holiday, at the expense of ITV.
The king of this all? Mark Wright. Another bleached-toothed boxhead who is now paid to go around the world to put on parties for people we don’t care about.
Instead of these people coming out of a world filled with non-reality, they are in fact leading a life in the real world surrounded by non-realistic scenarios that we cannot relate to. Non-reality has bleeded into our realistic world, and they don’t have a clue. Worryingly, there are people out there who aspire to this.
Unlike The Truman Show, or The Matrix, television allows people to live a lie in front of the cameras, and in the aftermath promote leading a non-realistic life.
To quote a line from The Truman Show, this is apt: “We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented”
Have a nice day…