September 16, 2021

The era of reality shows is over? Now, everybody gets a prize.

I'm reading "Controversial new TV show 'The Activist' drastically revamped after backlash/The format will now be more of a documentary feature rather than a competition" (The Hill).
The reality and competition style of the show drew criticism that it would promote performance activism and distract from actual social issues....
“... [I]t has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day,” the statement [from the producers] began. “As a result, we are changing the format to remove the competitive element and reimagining the concept into a primetime documentary special (air date to be announced).” 
Six activists will be featured on the revamped show, and will automatically be given a cash grant to the organization of their choice rather than compete for a prize money.

I don't know if many people would have watched this show in the multi-episode competition format. How could it have worked? It's like "The Apprentice," but without the forthright motivation of greed. The contestants were still after money, but for their cause. I guess that's like "Celebrity Apprentice." But without celebrities. It was a dog of an idea. 

By making it one episode — a "special" — they're cutting their losses. And they're still trying to look altruistic. They're going to give all the erstwhile contestants a prize, as if that's magnanimous of them. To me, it seems as though they've slipped into the world of everybody gets a trophy

I'm looking forward to the new season of "Survivor," which begins in a few days, on the same network that nixed "The Activist." Imagine watching "Survivor" if all the participants were simply given the same amount of money!

35 comments:

Achilles said...

Imagine watching "Survivor" if all the participants were simply given the same amount of money!

This is the nutz and the butz of the problem.

These "activists" are all mediocre people who lack any relevant talent or drive.

They are incapable of producing anything that anyone actually wants and they don't want to work hard. Concomitantly they are taught how awesome and noble and intelligent and righteous they are by our public school system.

They don't like competition because they are losers.

Hence the goal of Socialism that these people seek to achieve: winners and losers are chosen by affinity and tribal affiliation. Meritocracy is the enemy.

Lem said...

That show, ‘The Activists’, could work, if they put Obama in the role of Trump’s Apprentice.

Joe Smith said...

Is one of the causes saving babies in the womb?

How about something related to the right to keep and bear arms?

Voter ID for everyone?

Cutting waste and spending from government?

Funding groups that are vaccine pro-choice?

Keeping our borders safe and secure?

One can dream...but it seems like just another steaming pile of left-wing Hollywood bullshit.

Same as it ever was...

Yancey Ward said...

Yes, it the spread of participation trophyism. It is the lie that we are all winners, and none of us are losers.

Achilles said...

Lem said...

That show, ‘The Activists’, could work, if they put Obama in the role of Trump’s Apprentice.

The problem with that is it would highlight just how much more talent and charisma Trump has compared to Obama.

Howard said...

It would be interesting on Survivor if everyone was rationed the same amount of rice per kilo of lean body weight.

My grandsons liked watching rerun Heroes v Villians this summer. Sandra, Rob, Parvity, Russell, Jerry, Coach, Amanda, JT, etc.

LordSomber said...

A Very Special Episode where everyone is Special.

Kay said...

I will miss the reality show era. I think influencers are quickly taking the place once held by reality stars in our culture.

Temujin said...

I believe 'Activist' had an audition in the summer of 2020. How'd that go?

It's still playing in Portland.

gilbar said...

If they insist on still making reality shows, they should tell the teams, that their mission, is to make pornos... Wait, they're already Doing that, aren't they?

Narr said...

"It was a dog of idea."

We need a sentence diagrammer, stat!

MikeD said...

I can't imagine watching Survivor under any circumstances.

CJinPA said...

I'm more interested in the notion that a multi-billion-dollar media corporation was going to openly promote specific left-wing political activists AND award them cash to further their work. (The cash part stays under the new format.)

How do I know they would be left-wing?
1. Come on. What do you expect?
2. Really, come on.
3. Here's what a lady from one of the shows partners said:

"I heard you say that there was hypocrisy in the show because at the root of activism is a fight against capitalism and the trauma that it causes so many people and that the show itself felt like a shiny capitalistic endeavor,"

Viacom Corp.-owned CBS is promoting avowed anti-capitalist groups and figured it would make money doing it. And, controversy about their approach aside, they were right. THAT is what's most interesting about this whole thing.

PerthJim said...

"I don't know if many people would have watched this show in the multi-episode competition format. How could it have worked? It's like "The Apprentice," but without the forthright motivation of greed. The contestants were still after money, but for their cause."

Game shows have been doing this for many years, Jeopardy most notably. Celebrities play the game for their favorite charity. They still had to try to win, though.

JaimeRoberto said...

"criticism that it would promote performance activism..." Isn't most activism performance activism?

mikee said...

If there were to be a true activist competition, say an Antifa rioter versus a Sister of Mercy nun, I'd be inclined to watch. But whiny grant applicants are of little interest. I've applied for enough academic and government grants to know that if one contestant is related to a show producer, it isn't really a contest.

Baceseras said...

Wait, how was "greed" the motivation on The Apprentice? I mean, any more than on Jeopardy or Family Feud, or any other game show that offers prizes. Wanting to win the game and win a prize is greed? I don't see it.

TaeJohnDo said...

Try watching Alone on the History Channel. It is pretty good. It is winner take all, though the participants do get a stipend and one runner-up had a go fund me set up that has garnered him over $60K to date.

Biff said...

A few million people used to watch Mike Rowe's Returning the Favor on Facebook. I really miss it. It was one of the few really, truly good things about Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/

Ralph L said...

I got hooked on "Wipeout" reruns in August when TBD replaced Animals Unscripted and FailArmy with it, 7-10 pm. One has to imagine that the hosts' quips and puns are off the cuff and not added later. They could easily make the obstacles favor preferred contestants, but it doesn't look like they do. One winner gets $50k, but I hope the other 23 get something besides aches and pains for the abuse suffered. The obese ones have to be crazy to sign up.

Original Mike said...

"I'm looking forward to the new season of "Survivor," which begins in a few days, on the same network that nixed "The Activist." Imagine watching "Survivor" if all the participants were simply given the same amount of money!"

My wife and I watch Survivor; kind of a date-night thing. If they weren't actually competing? Do you spell lame with one m or two? I'm sure it would be the end of our long-time Survivor viewership.

Leland said...

Wow, The Hill avoids mentioning the controversy is over the show co-hostJulianne Hough having wore blackface in a 2013 Halloween Costume.

JaimeRoberto said...

I'd be in favor of a game show where the contestants tell really raunchy jokes where the punchline is "The Activists!"

mikee said...

Bacaseras: Greed and Fear are the two opposing and motivating factors in all life's endeavors.

Big Mike said...

I will miss the reality show era.

That’s clearly a minority view.

Joanne Jacobs said...

From a WashPost story about teenagers' beliefs:

Heily DeJesus, who lives in Lebanon, Pa., said she dashed from her brother’s high school graduation to a Black Lives Matter protest, where they all took a knee for a selfie as her brother raised his fist in the air.“It felt great to know that we’re a part of making a change for the world," she remembered.

Joanne Jacobs said...

From a WashPost story about teenagers' beliefs:

Heily DeJesus, who lives in Lebanon, Pa., said she dashed from her brother’s high school graduation to a Black Lives Matter protest, where they all took a knee for a selfie as her brother raised his fist in the air.“It felt great to know that we’re a part of making a change for the world," she remembered.

RMc said...

(The show might) distract from actual social issues

From your lips...

madAsHell said...

I only watch football on TV. Nothing else. So, I maybe selecting into a black demographic.

When I look at the stadium pan shots over the spectators at the football game, it still looks 90% white.

When I look at the actors in the TV advertisements during the game, it is 100% mixed breed children, and inter-racial couples.

Ya, ya,.....I know......GET OFF MY LAWN!!!......but I also automatically assume that those brands don't apply to me!!....consider Jerri-curl!!

Baceseras said...

mikee tells me, "Greed and Fear are the two opposing and motivating factors in all life's endeavors."

That's rubbish. Greed is a vice. Fear is an emotional signal indicating danger. They aren't parallel or antithetical or related in any necessary way; nor do they hold between them an exclusive patent to move us to act. Our endeavors in life admit of countless motivating factors, so even the "the" in your shabby aphorism is wrong.

The subject was reality show competitions. These are formally games. When we consent to play a game, a large part of our motivation is to play. Equally, our motivation is to win -- and if a prize comes with that, to win the prize is a great part of our motivation.

My question is, Why call that "greed"? Where's the vice? It's as if, when anyone accepted an invitation to dinner, you were to say the motivation was gluttony.

gilbar said...

So,
Original reality games (with their "greed"), were like The Game of Life! What a great game!

cassandra lite said...

That muffled sound you hear is Paddy Chayefsky laughing in his grave.

Tina Trent said...

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Remember that film? They really did hold dance marathons when people desperate to feed their families during the Depression subjected themselves to dangerous, non-stop, days-long “sports” including dancing.

Now we have hot anorectics competing to “survive” on island resorts and idiot “activists” trying to pretend that social activism produces anything other than more misery.

Maybe make it more interesting by making the activists live on an island with no food. Then they’ll learn something about the “food desert” crap they’re constantly carrying on about.

Lurker21 said...

It's like "The Apprentice," but without the forthright motivation of greed.

There's no need to stigmatize people's desire for financial benefit as greed, especially at a time when so many people have massive debt hanging over their heads. I wouldn't necessarily let all the activists off the hook as altruistic either. Delve into their own motives with the same reductive suspiciousness and who knows what you'll find.

I don't know who came up with the idea that fear and greed were the great human motivators. Brooks Adams really liked the idea and deplored that greed was getting the upper hand in his America. I don't know if he was okay with fear being the main motivator.

John Lennon said that fear and love were the two main human motivations. It sounds like something you could find in popular psychology books in his day. I don't know where that left greed, but money wasn't something Lennon had to worry about.

Narr said...

As the Five Thousand Year Old Man put it when asked about the main means of locomotion in his day, "Fear!"

The more precise "fear and greed" opposition is in the stock market; to take it out of there and make it a worldview is pretty shortsighted.