Reality television has pervaded regular prime TV but it’s been all over cable for quite a while as well. Unfortunately, there’s anything but reality in a number of these cable shows, and that’s a very depressing fact.
1. Big Weight Loss Shows
When it comes to weight loss shows, everyone watching wants to see someone beat the odds and produce a miracle. And that’s what makes the show successful. People weighing in at 300 lbs or more work their tail off, go through personal embarrassment and pain and sweat, and lose half their weight by the end of the show. Everybody roots the winners on and is impressed by the physical results. However, the reality after the show is that these “winners” often gain the weight back.
The participants live with professional trainers and work all day on a workout regimen along with a monitored diet. However, when the show is over and they go back home, all the normal habits kick in again as well as an 8-hour workday. And the weight comes back, in some cases almost all of it. The dream is temporary.
2. Restaurant Shows
The basic premise of many cable restaurant shows is that an expert chef or manager can come in, turn the place around, and the business will be successful again. The storyline at least makes good TV as far as ratings for cable are concerned. Unfortunately, it’s doesn’t hold water. In most cases, the visited restaurant goes bankrupt or closes after the TV show because the owners often go back to their old habits and mistakes. TV lights and profanity can’t produce an expert restaurant manager.
3. Giving Homes a Makeover
One of the more popular TV cable shows involves finding a homeowner who has all sorts of problems, financial woes, special needs and a horrible home that needs to be replaced. The show then goes through all the improvements made, in some cases tearing the place down and replacing it with a brand new one. Unfortunately, when someone has an improved home, a certain thing happens that doesn’t get mentioned on TV – the property taxes go up. And that’s in addition to all the increased costs of an improved, bigger house with amenities. In almost every case of a real family helped, they’ve had to sell their made over dream home within a year of receiving it.
4. A Free Car that’s Not So Free
Talk shows qualify as reality since they involve a real speaker and audience. So when the speaker gives away free cars and expensive gifts on the show at Christmas, people believe those gifts are real. Unfortunately, those gifts are often designated as prizes versus gifts. This is a critical difference – a gift means the giver pays the taxes on it over the federal annual gift limit. A prize means the winner pays the taxes on the market value of the prize. So getting a new car for free means a big tax hit for the audience lucky enough to get one.
5. Finding Fake Treasures
A number of cable storage auction shows make it seem like there’s a valuable treasure in auctioned storage bins. Unfortunately, the reason the bin is being auctioned is because someone probably went homeless and couldn’t pay the rent anymore, or had recently died. Also, a number of TV shows are not as real as their reality title suggests, meaning the treasures found are often staged. Seriously, would you keep a valuable coin collection or gun collection in a storage space?
All in all, whether you like these shows or not, they are addicting. It’s like watching a train wreck- you can’t do anything to stop it, but you better get out of the way! These shows are here to stay, with the highest ratings in most of all television. It’s important that we remember that a lot of the scenes are in fact, acted out- or just added dramatization for better ratings.