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Why I like reality TV on my terms

Whilst watching one of my favourite programmes the other night, my fella said omminously that he couldn’t understand at all why I enjoyed it, or the one that I had watched previous to it, also one of my favourites. “You’re an intelligent person” he said “But you’re caught up with it, and you don’t seem to realise the lies that its full of”. When it had finished, I asked him what he meant. It had finished, so he had my full attention.  He went on to explain that “The Apprentice” obviously can’t be in the time slots that it purported to be, and I shrugged at him and said I didn’t mind. He felt that I ought to. I felt I didn’t. He also said the same was true for “Professional Masterchef” which I’d watched before it, he knows I love it, and felt that I was being duped. I didn’t. He wanted me to realise that it wasn’t the reality that it was supposed to be. I said that it was a version of reality that I could buy into, but it really didn’t bother me whether it was a reality show, or a fictional one. I liked it either way. He knows I don’t like some reality shows – I’m a Celebrity get me out of here, The only way is Essex, Big Brother, I’d never watch, they leave me cold. I really do love “Millionare Matchmaker” though! But the point was, and this I got quite uppity over when I explained it to him, was there is nothing, NOTHING AT ALL, on TV, that was fully “true” so it was all fiction, or a version of it. And I include the news and weather forecast in that!

Sometimes for instance there will be a news programme that refers to someone being a certain age, but they are refered to as being a different age in the newspaper. So, one of them is wrong. Sometimes some woman is refered to as being someones wife, when actually they aren’t actually married. A persons AGE is a fact, an absolute true and unchanging fact. As is a marriage, or lack of it. So if news programmes get absolute FACTS wrong, how can anyone take any other statistic they offer as being correct. So, I treat ALL that comes out of the telly as “interesting, but not totally believeably true”. And of course if I treat everything that is serious and important (the news!) as not fully fact, then certainly something that is supposedly *reality* obviously isn’t. It is all heavily edited, to make a point, in a certain direction. I don’t mind that, I expect it. Television is made to be interesting, to occupy us, to entertain. And some programmes will continue to be my favourites for those reasons. I don’t care one iota if the people on it are all actors, or Peter and Miranda, past, present and future (2)if its set up to go in a certain direction, or if the people who aren’t actors play to the cameras to create a persona that isn’t their true character, or if the time frames that purport to happen, are incorrect. None of that matters to me. What matters is if I engage with the people, and what they are doing, and if I find it has some creative bent to it, and that I like the people themselves, and that they are doing something that I admire. I don’t watch rubbish, regardless of the subject matter. I like the version of reality I am shown. And engage with it.

I understand that fully, since it’s what I do when I paint pictures. Reality, but not a fully factual version of it. An enhanced version. Which is more pleasureable to view!

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