Many of us are consumed by the idea that Reality TV is a good form of Entertainment, that watching people potentially suffer self-esteem crushing and anxiety raising situations is entertainment. The fundamental realities of this is disturbing but there is a far more sinister aspect to reality TV that most people fail to notice. But with the latest edition of Celebrity Big Brother, are we stretching further from reality itself?

Reality TV has been around since the 1940s early examples include Truth and Consequence and Candid Camera, but it was the late 90s and early 00s that the genre was popularised with the likes of Pop Idol, Big Brother, and Survivor.

Celebrity Big Brother

There are several issues that stem from Celebrity Big Brother, firstly it is a reality show about celebrities placed in ‘real’ life situations that is ‘unscripted’. But it is widely known that these are far from the truths of reality itself. The show itself is on its 19th season since it began in 2001, the original Big Brother that began a year earlier is on its 18t edition.

The term ‘celebrity’ has long since changed and no-longer do you have to be nationally known, Jack Dee won the first season and Take That star Mark Owen in its second year. But more recent winners include Stephen Bear, who rose to fame on reality TV series Shipwrecked.

With reality TV celebrities created from this genre, it takes very little skill or talent to rise to fame and fortune.

‘Celebrity’ Big Brother only fuels the societal ideal of instant gratification without the aspect of working hard or becoming expert in a field. The latest season consists of ‘celebrities’ such as Angie and Calum Best, the former best known as being a Playboy Bunny and the first wife of the late George Best and the latter being famous for being the result of that marriage.

Cause and effect

Reality shows such as Celebrity Big Brother have created a society that is more willing to be entertained by people who make an obscene amount of money, who lack any real talent or expertise. This has mostly likely contributed to the feeling of distrust towards experts that has an impact on important aspects of life such as the EU referendum.

The consumer society that exists doesn’t just involve what products we buy, but what we watch and listen to on TV, allowing media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch to control what society reads and watches places us firmly in a self-imposed dictatorship. Reality TV creates an alternative reality that allows people to remove themselves from real life and become absorbed in a world that they seemingly have more control over.

By voting for people who we like or dislike that has a direct impact on their immediate future, it makes up for the lack of control most of us feel in our daily lives. These kinds of shows further detract from the issues that we face, it creates an apathetic nature towards politics because it’s ‘boring’ and the lack of experts in the limelight will continue to create a disdain towards real expertise when it matters.

Reality TV stars helps create a lie that you don’t have to work hard for your dreams and that they are easily attained. Instant gratification is a modern problem and TV shows such as Celebrity Big Brother promote this aspect, when real self-gratification comes from working hard for your dreams and developing with every setback that you experience.