Most TV shows are meant to be entertaining for the viewers, but they don’t think about the people who bring them to life with the challenges given to them.
Reality television: programs where unfamiliar people are continuously filmed and put into unscripted real-life, extraordinary situations. There are many different reality shows that range from dating shows to survival shows.
Most of the time, however, the more popular genre out of the many reality shows tends to be survival, in which many competitors are thrown into an unfamiliar place with the expectation of making it to the end. This is done through several challenges for some shows, but for others, it is simply pure luck. Unfortunately, most of these survival shows are on the extreme side. Consequently, competitors put their lives at stake trying to get through the difficult challenges, all for the enticing prize at the end of it all.
Even if some survival shows have entertaining elements, such extremities can only make things more dangerous for competitors. Things can only take a turn for the worse when more people get hurt and decide to bring about controversy and lawsuits against the shows.
Why must a production have to include extreme conditions for the competitors?
There are many reasons why extreme measures are put into shows, but the most likely factor is popularity. Survivor and Squid Game: The Challenge are examples of this, as they are the top 2 most popular survival TV shows, according to IMDb. With the prize being a huge sum of money alongside conditions such as little food and sudden environmental changes, it is no wonder viewers will go on to support the shows, since such accommodations are meant “to test one’s character.”
Sometimes, a TV show is based on a series, and extreme measures may be necessary to stick to the original. However, there are cases in which things may be exaggerated, do not follow the events of the original show completely, or get removed entirely. Using Squid Game: The Challenge as an example, it is seen that instead of playing a game of Tug-of-War, the competitors play Warships instead. The reason for this change is unknown. It could be because of the fear of taking strategies from Squid Game or because of copyright laws, but the spinoff would feel more realistic and memorable if it were to stick to most of the original show.
For a reality show to have entertainment value, viewers must see what is at stake for the competitors. This brings in extremities for the sake of needing a good challenge for the competitors and the show itself. In turn, the show becomes more suspenseful and exciting as viewers watch the competition go on.
Unfortunately for the competitors, the consequences of suddenly pushing in physical and mental challenges start badly and only get worse.
Many people have been medically evacuated from reality shows due to suffering from injuries both physically and mentally. In terms of physicality, people suffered from burns, broken bones, gashes from getting scratched, and fell unconscious due to the rigor of challenges. The constant fear of being watched affected the mental state of players in the show Big Brother, forcing them to leave the production.
If competitors and players suffer this much while being on a show, then it is quite obvious that pushing them into such extreme instances will only make their lives much worse than they already are. But what about the other consequence of extreme challenges: controversy?
Taking into account the conditions of the spinoff of Squid Game, much controversy has arisen because of it. Contestants suffered nerve damage because of hypothermia caused by the sets being extremely cold, malnutrition due to being given inadequate meals, and exhaustion because of the demanding schedule during filming. This led to complaints from the contestants and made the show spread all over the media, which is very much well deserved. It is not right to treat competitors like test subjects while they are suffering from the consequences of the challenges, even if it is for more popularity.
Reality shows tend to be dangerous to some extent, and putting contestants against each other will only damage more lives as the show goes on. If more people are going to get hurt in shows like these, then what would be the point of putting them in extreme circumstances?