Do you watch The Biggest Loser?
For that matter, do you watch any reality show?
I feel completely manipulated. I react the way the show's editors and producers want me to react. By playing up certain scenes, by leaving out other important information, by changing up the background music or camera angles, they lead me to believe one thing happened. But really something else entirely is going on.
Manipulated. Tricked. Teased and toyed with.
I'm such a puppet.
The fact that "reality" shows are anything but reality isn't really news to me. I just had a moment last night, watching a DVR'd episode of TBL, when it all came together in a nice little package with a big, shiny bow.
Is that what makes these shows compelling? I think the stories would speak for themselves, without all the overly produced touches. Maybe, in TBL case, they could cut down the artificially inflated drama at the weigh-in and have more time to let the stories play out on their own rather than being forced along and awkwardly enhanced.
I also wonder how much like puppets TBL contestants feel. At one point during the episode, a trainer got all up in someone's face and pushed him harder than everyone else in an attempt to break that person down and have him face his emotions. Would the trainer really do that? Or is there a director taking the trainer aside and saying, "You know what would be really dramatic? Be so pushy and obnoxious and ruthless, you make him cry!"
Anything for ratings.
And yes. I, the puppet, keep watching.
Pull my strings.