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In our SAT essay example Sample SAT Essay for the Reality Show Prompt , we discussed the benefits that the reality television programs bring to the society, despite the fact that most of their parts are scripted. The essay prompt, which had appeared in the March 12 SAT Reasoning Test, had left students befuddled over the response or the argument that they should represent, despite the picture being startlingly clear.
In the current SAT essay sample, the flip side to the argument presented in the previous SAT reality TV essay is presented, wherein the author of the essay puts forth points for the argument that reality television shows are harmful and influence the society in a negative way.
Before going ahead with the essay, go through the SAT essay prompt once more, as it appeared in the March 12 SAT exam:
“Reality television programs, which feature real people engaged in real activities rather than professional actors performing scripted scenes, are increasingly popular.
These shows depict ordinary people competing in everything from singing and dancing to losing weight, or just living their everyday lives. Most people believe that the reality these shows portray is authentic, but they are being misled.
How authentic can these shows be when producers design challenges for the participants and then editors alter filmed scenes?
Do people benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called reality, or are such forms of entertainment harmful?”
Reality television shows promote Schadenfreude, which represents the joy and pleasure someone derive from the plight and misery of the others. Isn’t suffering and conflict (mental or physical) are major themes in some of the most popular reality television shows today? Celerity Rehab is one such show where celebrities undergo treatment for drug addiction rehabilitation, which no doubt causes lot of pain to them. Is portrayal of this an ethically acceptable form of entertainment?
Apparently, there are very few things that are actually real about the reality shows, for it is well known that the scripts, circumstances and in some cases, even responses are scripted by the script writers and directors of the show. The frames telecasted on the television are the edited ones, and therefore do not represent the reality in its most authentic form.
Apart from the representation of distorted reality, these reality shows have led to a decline in the moral values of the society, giving direct encouragement to the voyeuristic impulses that lie within all of us, setting them free from the strains of moral dilemma. People are imitating the things shown in the television, holding them akin to the real life consequences. They are driven by false notion of ‘this is what we should be like’, thus deteriorating their moral and ethical values.
These reality shows apparently free the producers from the struggle for constant content research and analysis so as to hold the interest of the viewers, who now derive their dose of daily entertainment from the maneuvered exchange of ideas and responses between celebrities or people from regular walks of life.
As per the singing, dancing and other talent based reality shows, their adjudication process and results cannot be considered as being entirely fair. The decisions in majority of the cases are taken with the online and texting poll results, which are often biased. States vote for the candidates from their own states, irrespective of whether they are deserving or not. Last but not the least, these reality shows provide an alternate way for the people to achieve success, which is not entirely fair to the others in the league. Youngsters plan to make it big through these reality contests, rather than succeeding through their hard work.
The reality based television programs do not benefit the society, apart from giving the chance to a few masters of fate to showcase their talent, as in case of American Idol in its starting days. With the passage of time, it also has reduced to a not-so-decent form of entertainment, concentrating more on the dispute amongst the participants.
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