Unscripted Life of Reality Television

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“Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents unscripted situations and actual occurrences, and often features a previously unknown cast” (Wikipedia, 2014). When someone thinks of reality television they often associate it with the documentation of someone’s life, game shows, and cooking shows, which repeatedly results in either one person or team winning and everyone else being left with nothing, or fame and fortune. The American reality TV game show, Survivor, selects a number of contenders that are split into tribes. Once in their tribes they are deprived of the basic human rights such as shelter, food, water, and fire. In order to receive these basic needs, contestants must compete in challenges where the winning team will receive these items or in most cases immunity. Being continuously filmed with no choice as to when and where and what is shown on national and international television is breaching contestant’s privacy.

Directly linked to 1984 is the invasion of privacy to contestants on Survivor, and the citizens of Oceania. Like the residents of 1984, contestants of Survivor are well aware that they are being filmed and recorded by the cameras and microphones of the film and sound crew, and have know say into when they will be recorded and what will be produced and shown on both the national and international television screens, thus creating an interference of knowledge and breach of privacy for contestants. Citizens of 1984 know that every move they make could be watched, and every noise they make could be heard. How do they know this? Orwell writes, “It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption ben...

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...tity of food, and basic human needs they shall obtain, as well as no control on when they receive the items. Due to this totalitarian society in both 1984 and Survivor, contestants and citizens can become famished, dehydrated, and deprived of basic human needs. Just another example as to why the reality program Survivor must be banned and never re-aired again.

Orwell, G. (1949). Nineteen eighty-four. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Survivor: Cagayan. (2014). Survivor: Cagayan - Jeff Probst Cast Assessment. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed: 22 Mar 2014].
Wikipedia. (2014). Reality television. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed: 07 Mar 2014].
Year 12 English Booklet (2014). Thoughts For Assessment. Unit 2 - Big Brother Is Watching..., p. 1. [Accessed: 22 Mar 2014].
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