Unusual formats grab viewers’ attention
TV producers never fail to amaze us with the unusual formats and features they conjure up out of the Horn of Plenty or Pandora’s Box (as the case may be) of their fecund or fetid imagination (again, take your pick):
A colleague reports that a reality challenge has been thought up that enables prospective seminarians to compete with each other on point of the relative intensity of their vocation—with the winner getting a grant or scholarship for his spiritual studies!
Even more far-out and controversial is the TV show in Pakistan that has for its top prize—an abandoned baby!
That’s right, the program targets childless couples and effects their adoption of unwanted children—and the show is reported to be such a big hit that it’s on for hours each day!
Expectedly, the unusual format has been criticized by some quarters for its “shocking” use of babies as “prizes.” But, the people behind the production insist that they’re impelled by the best motives possible, and they make possible the unification of sad couples and parentless babies—so, nothing but happiness could possibly result! —What do you think?
Another recent development on TV that has some people cluck-cluck-clucking away is the perceptible rise in the “violence quotient” of some “reality” shows, like “The Real World” and “Big Brother.” Confrontations and slugfests involving combative housemates used to be squelched, but now it looks like they’re being allowed to play themselves out.
Cynical observers suspect that the more in-your-face approach is intentional, in keeping with the feistier, nastier times.
Other observers believe that the radical shift has most directly been instigated by the success of shows like “Bad Girls’ Club,” the denizens of which do their darndest to upstage and out-shock each other with their loud and livid antics.
And, what about the “Real Housewives” reality TV franchise and its different editions, where supposedly rich and sophisticated women are encouraged to feud and fight and scream colorful expletives at one another, for “shocked” viewers’ cynical delectation?
Add to this the “Jersey Shore” syndrome, with its similarly bipolar exhibitionists at the other end of the social ladder—and you get a disturbing trend that some viewers wish would crawl back under the rock from which it sprang!
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.