Blessed be reality television

BB WinnersMelbourne’s Anglican Archbishop Dr Philip Freier has spoken out against reality television during Anglican Open Church Week.

According to an article in today’s Herald Sun, Dr Freier suggested shows such as Big Brother make a ‘virtue’ out of other people’s ‘boring lives.’

“In reality TV shows, people are basically quite boring and some of them fairly banal and vulgar. It, in a way, turns them into people of interest,” he said.

“If you . . . looked at it, their lives aren’t really all that interesting.”

Newsflash: Big Brother ended nearly a year ago. And that was after years of diminishing returns.

In other words, the audience had already decided the show was increasingly dull.

Dr. Freier isn’t quoted on the finer detail of how much Big Brother he actually watched. Or what other reality shows he views with any regularity.

Indeed, some would argue that Dancing with the Stars and Australia’s Got Talent are reality television too, something no doubt many of his congregation enjoy. And what about Compass in 2007 in which ordinary women entered an Abbey to live with Benedictine nuns? The ABC found it so boring they turned it into 3 episodes.

There are plenty of reality television shows that are rubbish. There are plenty that are enjoyable. And there are plenty that thrive on the premise of ordinary folk put into extraordinary situations. Whilst casting is crucial in the genre, it’s the storytelling that makes it interesting.

Such dismissive generalisations of reality television can be applied to drama, light entertainment, music, sport and more….

But if we need any litmus test of the power of reality, look no further than MasterChef Australia.

The country is hooked, surging over 2m viewers a night. Thank heavens for that.

Source: news.com.au

15 Comments:

  1. MasterChef is just people cooking and sweating over their food while they have a heartattack and say they love cooking.

    Big brother is way better, there is so much more to it, Friday night live was so funny!

  2. I don’t know how legit it is cause it’s UKBB and it was said by George Lamb who i kinda don’t like very much so therefore can’t trust haha… but hope it’s true!

  3. I’m not a big fan of most reality shows, with the exception being Mythbusters and Scrapheap Challenge (if they fall into the reality category) but 2 Million watching MC can’t be wrong. And now TEN has announced a celebrity series. Undoubtedly there will be a 2nd ‘normal’ series sometime in the not too distant future.

    Reality TV is far from dead.

  4. There’s always gonna be people who think reality TV is boring. He clearly stated he thought the contestants were boring.

    …You could then go up to another million people and they can say it’s interesting. You could do the same and find the inverse result.

    This could be for any genre. It’s all about people’s preferences.

    Notice that this guy did not ‘condemn’ a reality show because it’s distasteful, he simply said it’s boring. Um…who cares?

  5. “There are plenty of reality television shows that are rubbish. There are plenty that are enjoyable.”

    That sums up the whole issue. I am a Christian and I watch reality tv. It annoys me when people stereotype Christians as “perfectionists” that don’t have fun. I don’t want to be labelled, and neither should the reality genre. There are a lot of trashy realities like Top Model and Big Brother, but their are also decent ones like Idol and MasterChef. And afterall, weren’t there the Christians on Idol, with the whole rumour about favourism etc?

  6. Someone BBBA

    I wouldn’t really call the bible an old school format of reality TV, slydoggie. I’d say it’s more of a fantacy drama. It would probably rate well early on a Sunday evening, but you’d have to edit out a lot of the gratuitous murder, violence and rape scenes first.

  7. No, only 2m viewers are hooked. The rest of Australia – 91% of us, were doing something far more interesting than watching pig like judges sniff and dribble over food.

  8. @ David *But if we need any litmus test of the power of reality, look no further than MasterChef Australia.
    The country is hooked, surging over 2m viewers a night. Thank heavens for that.*

    Well put, and many of those 2m viewers are families who are watching together.

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