I have a friend who has done a lot of writing in various media. To establish his credentials as honest and grounded in reality, I have to point out that he does considerable technical and business writing. In a former life, though, he did script writing for TV shows. That will tend to lower the objectivity bar for many.
Now that he’s earning an honest living, he can look back on his earlier efforts with a critical eye. He told me some time ago that the rise of TV “Reality Shows” was because of a lack of good writing these days. It was far easier to get some interesting folks, put them in an unusual situation, give them a few instructions on what was wanted – and record the results.
The result can’t be entirely without direction, however. The characters are chosen because of their good looks, shapeliness, quirkiness, wiseassery, likelihood of drawing sympathy, etc. In other words, most of the traits that would have gotten them selected for traditional TV acting roles – if there had been good writers producing these shows now.
The advertisements for these shows are designed to entice the viewer in much the same way that ads for traditional shows did – emphasizing the excitement, adventure and possible eroticism to be displayed.
My wife showed me an ad for The Bachelor in Paradise show, that said “Ashley takes Jared to a hotel!”
“What could possibly be her motive for that?” she asked.
“Don’t read too much into it,” I said. “That hotel has the best breakfast buffet in town!”