Monday, March 6, 2017

Core Response

In Reality Television: a Neoliberal Theater of Suffering Anna McCarthy argues that“[p]roducing scene after scene of painful civic pedagogy, suffused with tears, rage, and insults and pushing the limits of the self to mental and physical extremes, the genre’s affective dimensions might have something new to teach us about the processes of self-organization in which modern subjects find themselves caught”(19).

In most reality TV shows, there comes a time when their participants manifest feelings based on their own failures, frustrations, discontents and weaknesses. For some participants of the aforementioned shows, in order to win the final prize, they do not mind creating harm and even enjoy seeing the supposed “brother” of the house suffer.

This seems to be the main objective of Big Brother. To be locked up or imprisoned in one place for so long, observing the same thing always, the same routine, having nothing more to do, that idleness of every day, leads to a behavior that is not common.

Earning the weeks challenge or surviving to earn a bigger prize at the end, feeds the contestants of Big Brother the highest level of insecurity, fear, and irritability. The participants know that there are a number of cameras recording their personal intimacies, 24 hours a day, transmitting it to the viewer, showing the lowest instincts of survival, reaching evilness and cruelty.

The enclosure is not only physical and limited space, there are other closure, the psychological in which the susceptibility will be even more indifferent and not confident in itself. Feelings are suppressed and then released in tears or angry cries. Being isolated for a long periods of time also generates other unresolved personal conflicts, such as suffering from, subsequently, emotional disorders or simply not being mentally prepared to this type of television exposures can lead to unforeseen tragedies.

Idleness gives rise to personality traits that are not virtuous, pleasant or funny. The final reward, keeps many them in the house; that is their final goal, no matter who they humiliate or offend. And there is a public that is fascinated by these behaviors, one can questions if this public lives on the morbidity, the suffering of others and feeds on seeing the anguish, disappointment, desolation and torture to the point of agony.

1 comment:

  1. I'm curious to know how much emotional manipulation occurs via the on-set crew who target certain "characters" in order to exemplify their negative traits. There is also the great impact that editing has on the story. Reality TV show editors create a story which may not have actually been from one scene, but several events.

    Additionally, I'm curious how many people who come onto reality t.v. shows create a character in order to be accepted onto the show. People know that producers (because the viewers) want conflict in a show, and those who want their moment of fame (or a kickstart to success) may put on a persona to get onto the show and benefit from that limelight. Therefore, I am skeptical of how much bad behavior is from isolation and boredom, but from preconceived notions the characters in the show have about what their performance should be.