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Off late there has been a lot of debate surrounding the reality of reality shows on TV. And the debate is much needed. We live in demanding times and being good at studies doesn’t really equate to your child being a smart child anymore. Those who are questioning the legitimacy of these reality are looked upon as pessimist, having no real business or simply jealousy since their kids aren’t up there on the silver screen. Sorry to say, whatever your defense maybe, kids being pushed to the brim of being over real is highly questionable. But then who is to be blamed here?
Back in the days when reality shows hit the screens and our homes, we were overwhelmed by the simplicity and the talent that existed around us and among us. We went literally twinkled eyed and mesmerized by the sheer greatness in those little beings. Every episode made us wish for a child as equally talented amongst us. Our expectations grew and so did our greed. But then what’s wrong with it we say. Who doesn’t like fame, attention, money and all that comes with it? Who doesn’t want to be felt celebrity-like, all exclusive, with a trail of fans behind us? Our pictures and interviews splashed across all mediums of media. No wonder they call it the silver screen, the brightness is a bit too much to see what lies beyond it.
As time progressed the shows grew in number, the competitions got tougher, the guidelines, the rules, the levels just kept getting out of reach. Every channel set out to have their own reality shows, where kids from strategically selected backgrounds were bought to the forefront under the pretext of encouraging talent big or small. But less did we know and slowly realised that the reality of reality shows had nothing real left in them.
Children in shows are first judged by the jury and then later left to the votes of the audience all over based on popularity? Of course who is later adjusted the winner. Children participating in comedy shows and talent shows are made to do scripted bits and the mannerisms and language (style) simply holds no bar. You may at times feel ashamed as an adult watching these shows which are organized to showcase the talent of a 4 year old or a 14 year old. I wondered how come censorship doesn’t work here!
There are kids and their parents who come with real hopes of making it big on the small screen. They go to the extent of giving up their jobs to cater full-time to their child's dreams. However they don’t realise the reality of reality shows is not even known to them at times. Have you realised most of the first part or towards the end we as an audience are left crying our heart out, only because the shows chose to exploit and not explore the story of these kids and their background, that the kids are left feeling nothing but helpless. Those kids as little as 4 year old weep as if the world has come to an end. Its disgusting and ridiculous to say the least! We are indeed a nation of emotional fools!
I still feel there should be some censorship on the content shown on these reality shows. There should be proper guidelines. Be it dance shows, comedy, singing, dramatics, or any other form, we must not forget there is a child performing there. You can’t kid around like that. Especially with their age.
The judges on the other hand, are cherry picked to gain popularity and those who can tag along celebrities to the show to increase their ratings (TRPs) and also maybe help financially. At some reality shows we wonder if the judges are apt for the show or not. But yes that’s the reality. Kids are dolled up, made to work real hard, they fall ill at times, they are shown the stars, and they behave like it’s a matter of life and death. They break down at the very instance if they have scored only a 99.9%. I mean where does this lead to?
Visual media is such a strong and wonderful space to be. Who doesn’t want to be in the limelight? But then gambling with kids like these. Who are at times made to cozy up to judges, utter adult content, dress like grown-ups at times and most often it remains but a visual treat that’s all. Whatever happened to the talent? We need reality shows to showcase the real essence in that kid. We need reality shows to showcase that their talent is beyond boundaries. We need reality shows to showcase rareness and rawness. We need reality shows to showcase the child in tha child.
In the end we as parents should decide what’s best for our kids, but also make our kids realise that these shows are a just a small part of their real world. These shows may go on for time in memorial, however what’s within our control is the reality of it.
image courtesy: Google Images.