In the past few weeks, Australia has been genuinely shocked by a reality show.
Front page news, TV & radio interviews, modelling contracts; had it not been for all the wrong reasons (depending on your perspective) it would have been a PR’s dream.
We sighed at the romance of it all and turned to another program fully prepared to never think of them again.
But when ‘love rat’ Garvey dumped Frost days after the cameras stopped rolling we were outraged. We agreed when she called him a “jackass” and a “joke”. You could call it the bastardry of The Bachelor.
One of my favourite movies is The Truman Show, where from birth Truman Burbank’s life is entirely concocted for a TV show, complete with product placement. He is the only person unaware of the role that he’s playing. The aftermath of The Bachelor represents the same blurring of the lines between fantasy and reality.
As far as I know, this is not a movie. This is playing with people’s lives for the benefit of ratings, a baying crowd if you will. It’s the Coliseum without the lions and the swords.
Part of our insatiably human demand for stimulation has always been the need for heroes and villains. Clearly, we’re not very discerning as to where and how we find them. Nor is there much concern as to who gets hurt along the way.
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