Last Updated 16 Jun 2021

The MTV Reality Show Crisis

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The popularity of reality TV shows advances with every season since the first episode of “Survivor” aired in 2000. The reality shows are providing the audience the option to “dumb-down” their intelligence. Every evening, millions of people sit in front of their television set to watch the latest episode of “Big Brother,” “Jersey Shore,” or “Real Housewives.” Although not a new genre, reality TV shows like “Survivor” have started the next generation of programming, but the negative effects of these shows may be greater than the actual enjoyment.

The purpose of this report is to cover the unknown side of reality television, how it changes the audiences’ view on reality as well as solutions. Although the reality TV epidemic is hard to convey, the MTV broadcast need to change their mind about the unnecessary shows and focus more in the important issues of the real world. The media is only making it worse and worse for the audiences’ generation to be influenced by humiliating people on television.

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Unrealistic Reality

The life in which the “actors” portray is a false reality, they are all set up and choreographed to make the audience believe that the actors represent a true sampling of human beings advancing their “real” lives; thus they go on air to portray to the viewer how corrupted and dysfunctional reality is.

Unhealthful False Reality

Often, the media creates shows, movies, or even books in a form of a plot in which the audience can identify with, so they can connect with the actor and base them on their lives. Take for example “The Bachelor,” “Joe Millionaire” or even “The Bachelorette.” How is it possible to find love in a distorted amount of timeThe actors on these reality shows find love in five to six weeks of being taped with a certain amount of people competing for love and affection, they are being videotaped 24 hours a day non-stop; if a viewer decided to find love in the real world, it would definitely take more time, it is quite difficult to meet a person and know them well enough in six weeks to propose them. So what is the media trying to prove the shows are all edited, the producer's craft every episode into creating a plot that will catch the viewer’s perspective; they air what the viewer would want to watch, but in the end, it’s all unrealistic.

False Image

These shows not only maintain a false reality but also maintain a false image as well. In the reality shows, every woman is beautiful with great body shape and every man is handsome and well built. The houses are glorious and wonderful, if this is a “reality” show, isn’t it suppose to depict how the real world isIs the real world really like thisTake for example the show “High School Reunion,” behind the scenes, a few producers proposed the “actors” to be a character that they are not, for example a few actors were either “Class Nerd,” “Class Jock.” This shows that the actors are fake themselves and are portraying someone they are not. If the viewers continue to watch these so called reality shows, it can lead to ignorance to the real world.

Promoting Profanity

Most shows being aired like “Jersey Shore,” and “Real World: Las Vegas” promote meanness, casual sex, alcohol abuse, reckless behavior, vulgar language and violence. Studies have shown that the shows’ content have become 52 percent more sexual, violent and profane. According to a Parents Television Council study, they found that during 114.5 hours of reality television, there was an alarming 1,135 instances of foul language, 492 instances of sex, and 30 instances of violence for a total of 1,657 instances of offensive content (Dehnart, pg.1)


Almost in every reality show, actors are being humiliated in front of numerous people without caring about their image. The participants display humiliation as necessary in order to seek another’s attention or to even be successful in life. With this being said, the viewers tend to dive into the thoughts in which being humiliated as well as humiliating others is an okay concern due to the message that the reality shows present. Take “Jersey Shore” as an example, the participants’ lives are based on an everyday party, hooking up with strangers and bringing them home, getting drunk, and having sex on a daily basis. It seems that the viewers get more entertained by the drama and frustration that the participants experience in the show.

Negative Behavior

The reality shows also send out a negative influence to the viewers. The way these actors behave and speak draws more attention to the youth audience and exposes them to the wrong direction which doesn’t have a beneficial effect on society. As soon as teens are exposed to these shows, they will begin to understand the values and relationships in life in a distorted view because they will follow what they see on television. The more people are watching these shows, the more their view on reality is distorted, they will begin to view the real world similar to the ones seen on TV because the media brainwashes their thoughts.

Effect on the Viewer

Today, the media is known for influencing its viewers, it is clear that after watching numerous reality shows, the individual will feel the urge into acting the same way as the participants on television. They continue to watch every episode to feel better about themselves, take for example Snooki’s hair from “Jersey Shore,” she is famous for the hair poof that she pulls off every episode, and ever since then, many females are pulling the same look to be seen like her. There are some teens who even act and dress like the participants on these reality shows, which only shows how destructed our society is becoming by the cause of these reality shows.


Many solutions would be for MTV to stop airing shows that have negative effects on the audience. MTV can also air better-scripted reality shows with mature participants due to the fact that the current participants are immature and have no self-respect. These so-called actors are making millions of dollars for performing poorly written parts. The youth audience needs to look up to role models, not embarrassing actors, if MTV continues to air these explicit reality shows, it will only bombard the viewer.


The reality shows that are being aired on MTV are only humiliating participants on television as entertainment to the viewer as well as exposing the youth audience to profanity and negative behaviors.

As a result of this reality show crisis, MTV must modify its shows by airing shows that have a better effect on the viewer.

The MTV Reality Show Crisis essay

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