Curiosity killed the cat reminds us that being too curious can be dangerous.
Example: “What do you think is down that dark street?” Reply: “I would rather not find out. Curiosity killed the cat.”


I think what takes people to watch so voraciously all kinds of reality-shows is not just pure human curiosity. Either that, or let’s hope the saying above isn’t right. Everytime I hear about a new reality-show, I loose a bit more hope in mankind, but, like all problems, it’s a matter of proportion and perspective. So far, Portugal had it’s own instances of a big chunk of the bad reality-shows that came mostly from north-american TV stations. From big brother to survivor, everybody had the chance to taste several flavours of bad TV.

But when one (naïve, like me) thinks it can’t get any worse, someone comes up with a even more despicable idea for a reality show. Worse, audiences love it. On Fox TV, there are two examples (that I’m aware) of this freaky tv shows that gives me the creep. The first is the The swan, where a handful of women with low self-esteem mutate to… be prettier. For that, they submit themselves to all kind of things, from therapy to several plastic surgeries, on the attempt to carve on them someone’s beauty standard – of course this is done for their good, not for the public amusement.
Another even more creepy example, also on Fox TV (screened just a few days ago), is called Who’s your daddy? where a daughter given up for adoption as an infant attempts to guess the identity of her birth father among eight men presented to her, all claiming to be her father. If she points the right guy, then she goes home with 100K dollars. Oh, and with the birth father as well, I guess. And what if she fails? Then the money goes to the wrong option guy. Neat, uh? :-|
But hey, let’s be fair – it’s not always for the money. This last despicable example, was on ABC network on the 20/20 show, where five couples competed to win… a baby. Yes, they were trying to adopt a baby of a 16-year-old woman. How twisted can it get?

My son, if you watch this things and you don’t have anything better to do, I can strongly recommend you to read 1984 where you can learn where the ‘big brother’ concept came from, or to get a copy of this to have a peek on other people’s live while teasing your imagination, instead of being a couch mushroom.

PS: please, forgive the sarcasm on this post

10 strings to “reality-sickness”

  1. Jorge Laranjo says

    People&Arts está a passar um sobre membros de uma empresa que se atropelam para serem escolhidos para gestor de topo.
    Só um poderá lá chegar e todas as semanas um é despedido!

  2. José Pedro Magalhães says

    And what’s the problem with all that? I don’t understand. They are tv shows, they are there because people watch them. So that means people like them. So, should one be bothered by that? What do I have to do if someone else participates in such a thing? It’s only a question of free will we are talking here, and there is no point in disallowing such shows to transmit, since that would be an ofense to freedom. So… where is the problem? Shouldn’t we just watch want we want and respect other’s tastes?

  3. paulo says

    I think you missed my point. I’m not trying to promote some kind of censorship on it. People are free to see what they want and TV companies show them what they like to see most.
    What I was expressing, was my disappointment regarding the (growing) amount of people that enjoys to watch this and what people are willing to do for money or publicity. Plus, it’s getting worse every day.
    Don’t forget that, of course, we should have respect for other’s tastes but what about respect for the baby that was being competted for?

  4. José Pedro Magalhães says

    If the baby was competted for, it means it was a legal thing to do. I assume, so, that all the couples were legally valid to adopt the baby… thus I have no problem with it. And why do you say “it’s getting WORSE”? It seems to be what people want, isn’t that good, feeding the people with what they need?

    And, after all, it’s only entertainment. I can’t understand how the entertainment of others, being legal and harmless, can bother you.

  5. paulo says

    Even if it’s legal, it doesn’t justify the way it’s done, broadcasting the destiny of a baby for the world entertainment. Some of the people that compete on this contests are desperate for money and TV stations take advantage of that. And on the other end, there is a bunch of people at home that just absorb all that social behaviour because, because they like it and because the range of alternatives is getting narrower since that’s what people like to watch most. Sure, people are free to watch what they want, and are even free to not watch TV at all, but some just don’t have consciousness about the option and assume an attitude of if it’s on TV, it’s ok.

    To give you a recent example with something I just heard about, on Thailand, there are some tourists arriving and laying back on the beach. And while they are enjoying their vacations, in a few meters of distance, lot’s people clean the wrecks of the tsunami, morn their relatives or even starve, probably homeless now. This tourists are having their form of entertainment, a legal and harmless one. This does bother me. Sure, you can say it’s with the tourism that the country will recover from all this but I’m sure they are not there because of that.

  6. Karin says

    I’ll say it again. 70% of our opinions (big or small) are formed by television and radio. So ‘it being legal’ and ‘it’s only entertainment’, should not be the only criteria for us to watch a program or for program makers to make one. The big thing is that the viewers have no say in program making. And did anyone on earth really get up one morning and think: I’d really like to watch a program where a 16 yr old girl has to guess who her real dad is? I hope not!! It’s vile and disgusting and degrading and dumb. It’s like the people who find that entertaining are bored and need something, just anything, to kick some kind of adrenaline into their brain.

    Glad you are on my side Paulo!

  7. José Pedro Magalhães says

    I just think TV should be the mirror of society. If our society is rotten, let TV be rotten. And TV should be free to broadcast whatever it feels like, since we are free to watch whatever we want.
    It’s all about freedom. Let the tourists enjoy their holidays, why should they be bothered by the death of thousands? It’s their life, not mine, so I won’t say anything about them. If YOU are bothered by it, don’t assume everyone else should be. We must accept different points of view, as long as they are legal (assuming now that a law system is established and is somewhat perfect in determining what is harmful or not).

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