I came across articles questioning the public interest in TV shows like “X Factor” and started asking myself: aren’t we in for a change? “Big Brother” and similar TV shows also experienced a loss of ratings, space in entertainment news and general interest. Reality and talent shows were the true turning point for television in the wake of the new millennium, generating short-term celebrities, a morbid taste for other people’s privacy and all that came with it.
Now, ten years later, with “Big Brother” being cancelled and then brought back, “X Factor” struggling with ratings and past winners who are either dropped by their labels or forgotten by the media, one can’t help but wonder: is this type of entertainment over?
One of the main reasons why this is happening is that curiosity is nice when it doesn’t last too long. Fun is never fun when it comes regularly and invades people’s lives 24/7. Is this why hybrid shows like “The Only Way Is Essex” are going the opposite direction in terms of success? What was it, if not a fictionalisation of a reality show? It shows people are more comfortable watching scripted or semi-scripted shows but don’t want to give up the reality bit in order to empathise with the characters. Moreover, social networking was the nail in the coffin for reality shows as conceived back in the early 2000s. It is all that reality shows are, but we’re in it.
Being old-fashioned I can only hope society would go backwards pertaining entertainment on TV, but I guess this is not where this field is headed. Perhaps, there’s a different way of looking at it: the masses were provided entertainment by TV channels and this is going to continue, but the reality aspect of it will probably die out or it will be enhanced with more interaction, meaning everyone will see entertainment their own way.
If you’re over 30 you’re probably struggling at the idea and cannot imagine a world where we are not given entertainment by someone else. However, newer generations will not see this shift and will be raised in a world where technology provides you with tools with which you can generate your own self-made entertainment.