A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about reality television programming. Well, maybe we should reconsider the situation. We often complain about, “that show is so fake! liars!” True, many reality and fantasy programs are “fake” to a degree. Let’s look at that a bit more in depth.

Being a Theatre BFA graduate, I learned about how on-stage and television shows are created and produced. In the end, yes, it is acting. In comes our “love-hate thang” relationship; we complain but we always watch, right? While we realize that the actor on stage or on film is not in reality a pirate, jealous sibling, cowboy, etc… for a short time we can be entertained and it can appear real with excellent actors and today’s technology. In the literal definition of “lying”, acting is more accurately something else- acting. Whether professionally trained or not. “Good” and “bad” acting. That’s entertainment.

Some scripting is necessary, and on film there is always some directing and editing. On-stage of course there is no “redo”, but there is directing. In film there are often many “takes” with editing and continuity. We need to realize that the program was likely filmed many months before it is aired for viewing. It is not uncommon for a movie or program to have been filmed over a span of a year or longer before it is edited and ready to be released. It is not like a camera operator started at act one scene one and they filmed constantly until the end of the film. Editing everything gives us the final cut that we viewers actually see. Some scenes get cut out, and some do not. Scenes in the middle of the film may have actually been filmed before the scenes that end up in the beginning of the film. Actor availability, finances, weather and many other variables often affect filming. Rest assured that the credits, which most people just do not read, provide disclaimers and all of the other legal requirements. Before my college days, I never read the credits. Do you ever read them?

In our own real lives, we often make some plans (scripting, if you will). If a camera were following us around, wouldn’t we all alter our behavior, consciously or subconsciously? We always want the perception to be as we desire it to be. In the end, is it so terrible that we are entertained? Whether reality television or fantasy, isn’t it fun to think about what could be possible, probable, or what may not be? Challenges us to think, which is always a good thing.

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