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Future 2020: Reality TV

Reality TV is REALLY terrifying and honestly awful. On today's episode, the Ghouls are uncovering the truth behind your favorite reality TV and Day Time Talk Shows. We watched UnReal and The Truman Show to discuss the psychological impact this "reality" has on people. 


RED: Quotes, someone else's words.

Kat's Facts - Real murder and death has occurred because of Reality TV!

In the HBO America Undercover documentary, Talked To Death - The Dark Side of Daytime Talk Shows we get a glimpse into the reality behind talk shows and this supposed “real” TV. On the Jenny Jones show, we had a special episode about revealing your crush. Jenny is seen in this unaired episode goading the guest, Scott Amedure, into telling his “Secret pleasures” and “fantasies” about his friend, Jonathan Schmitz, who at this time has no idea about this crush but who also was led astray by the producers. Schmitz had told them, according to trial footage, that if the crush was male, that he is not gay and is not interested. They toyed with him and mention, it could be male or female and we can’t tell you. They also gave him alcohol in the green room which is unheard of for daytime talk shows. Schmitz is surprised to find out his friend, Amedure, has feelings for him and is clearly uncomfortable. Jenny then replays clips of the Amedure discussing his fantasies, only further embarrassing the Schmitz. After the show, Amedure left Schmitz a playful note about the experience, not realizing Schmitz had been out drinking and had not found the experience funny at all. He then went to Amedure’s residence and shot him. Jenny Jones and her producers were brought to the stand during the trial and you can see them weasling their way around the questions and trying to defend their actions of manipulation.

A man and his wife murdered his ex-wife after appearing on the Jerry Springer show. Another man murdered his incredibly recent wife, having met her right after being voted off of the Megan Wants to Marry a Millionaire, he married and then murdered her violently. A man killed himself after being caught on To Catch a Predator, and so much more violence. That’s not even counting the many suicides of participants on Reality TV shows who claim their lives forever changed, for the worse, after being a part of the program. Their cries for help are often met with dismissive tones from producers telling them they can’t help and that they should seek counseling. Completely free of responsibility. Here are some awful deaths and truth that occurred behind the scenes of reality TV, thanks to Ranker for this information.

In 2013, while producing an untitled TV show in Los Angeles, CA, three men were victims of a deadly helicopter crash. At roughly 3:30 am, the aircraft smashed into the ground at 750-acre Polsa Rosa Ranch, near Soledad Canyon Road and the Angeles National Forest. The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the crash was likely due to the pilot being distracted by the camera operator's key light, which reduced his line of vision. (Ranker)

Moreover, according to an article in the New York Post, in only a decade, at least 21 reality TV actors died by suicide. This includes former participants on shows like Kitchen Nightmares, Storage Wars, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. (Ranker)

Some 'Biggest Loser' Contestants Allegedly Approached The Brink Of Death During Filming (Ranker)

According to this source, none of the show employees were permitted to report negligent parenting to the authorities. Disgruntled crew members could only report "complaint[s] with [the] production manager." (Ranker)

Dr. Thierry Costa killed himself on location Monday on an island in Cambodia, the TF1 station said. Costa, 38, blamed the press for damaging his professional reputation in a handwritten suicide note that TF1 published on its website. (FoxNews) "These last few days my name has been smeared in the media. Unjust accusations and assumptions were uttered against me," he wrote on notepaper from the hotel where the "Koh-Lanta" team was staying. "Having to rebuild this destroyed reputation seems unbearable to me, so this is my only possible choice."



Gabe's Film Analysis - Producers manipulate people and the truth.

I had an instructor at Temple who had previously been a producer for the Maury Povich show and Sally Jessy Raphael. I won’t name names but I will say she was one of the most manipulative and evil people I’ve ever met IRL. Which is weird to say about someone who just works in daytime TV but lemme tell you about this toxic world. Talk Show producers exist to pull people’s strings, make them cry, angry and fight on TV - for ratings. My instructor had a daytime Emmy that she brought into class and gloated about but you wanna know why she earned that Emmy? And why she was soooo proud of it? She got it for orchestrating the first fight on day time television. At least that’s the story she told, blissfully and glistening with pride. She would tell us these stories of bringing in people, putting them up in motels and having to pay extra to clean them due to lice or bed bugs that those participants brought with them. She said this like, “Look at these disgusting people we were SO nice to bring onto our show and give them a place to stay!” and its like, what did you do to them when they were on the show? They manipulate those people. On the documentary we watched, it showed a producer of the Geraldo Rivera show getting upset because she brought two women on the show because she figured they fight and yell and scream but they weren’t. They wouldn’t open up on TV enough for this producer, so she would go on during the commercial breaks and demand they play up their anger more and more. And that’s only on a half-hour talk show, imagine being on a program where you are recorded for MONTHS and have those evil littler producers whispering in your ear and further exacerbating your own fears and anger.

According to the creator of UnReal, which we will discuss further in our films section, a lot of the things that take place on the show are real things that happen on the sets of Reality TV shows. Information brought to us by an article on Distractify, Is UnReal like the Bachelor?

  • Producers are paid for starting drama. In the book Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure, producers admitted that they were definitely bribed to get contestants to bring the most drama. Author Amy Kaufman wrote: "To motivate the producing team, [former supervising producer Scott] Jeffress offered cash incentives. He kept a wad of crisp $100 bills in the pocket and promised one to anyone who delivered strong drama. The first producer to get tears? A hundred bucks! You get Michel to make out with the right girl? A Hundred bucks! Catch a chicken puking on camera? A hundred bucks!"

  • Producers pretend they're the contestants' best friends to gain their trust.

  • Producers control the romance, too. According to former Bachelor executive producer Scott Jeffrees, the show often asks the bachelor or bachelorette to keep certain contestants around just for drama. "We would say, 'We'd like you to keep this one because she's good for TV, and this other one we'd like you to get to know better," he told Amy in her book.

  • "Frankenbiting," or editing video to make contestants say things they didn't say, is pretty darn common. This little editing trick is used shockingly often. "Let's say the bachelor says, 'I do not want to go on a date with Trish,'" Amy writes in her book. "If an editor took out the word 'do not' making the sentence 'I want to go on a date with Trish' — that would be a Frankenbite."

Kat and I have been working our way through, America’s Next Top Model, and we see some cringeworthy things on there. We often see contestants during the interviews disclosing horrific histories and not even making it to the house. One woman told the story about how she was involved in a plane crash and only survived because her mother’s lifeless body kept her warm until help came. She made it a few episodes at best. There was a contestant who cried and revealed she had been raped, molested and abused in foster care. She made it a few episodes. But sad sob stories don’t win.

Also, I saw this funny post that was like, “Imagine you’ve been growing your hair out your whole life and you’re proud of it. Tyra Banks decides you’d be edgier with short hair and cuts it all off. Then she kicks you off for crying about it.” Which gets a good laugh until you think about how cutting your hair is literally a torture tactic.



Media from this week's episode:

UnReal (2015 - 2018)

Creators: Marti Noxon, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro created by former Bachelor producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

A behind-the-scenes look at the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program.

  • This was a guilty pleasure for me as I enjoyed watching the BTS lingo and just general production hub bub. But it was also an interesting look into the reality of “reality TV”.

  • Watching Rachel, the protagonist, struggle and slowly dissolve into the villain through the seasons was so interesting and heartbreaking.

Truman Show (1998)

Director: Peter Weir

An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.

  • If this film were told from a different POV and the audience never knew that Truman was on TV, and we just experienced it with him - this would be a horror movie 100%.

  • Product Placement, Youtubers and more!

  • Allegory of the Cave

  • The "Truman Show" Delusion


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