Reality shows became a big thing early on in television history, but thankfully the trend didn’t seem to catch on until much later. As of now TV has been inundated with reality shows that are anything but reality. Poor scripts and lamer ideas have given way to the rise of the reality sitcom which is in many regards simply a poorly planned show that often puts the participants at risk. What some people will do for fame, or simply to try to make their lives better, is simply amazing, not to mention a little disheartening.
Here are five reality shows that screwed over their contestants:
5. Eden (2016)
At this point it’s safe to assume that most people will do almost anything for a buck. That includes being dropped off in the Scottish highlands to survive on little more than their wits and whatever they could find to sustain themselves. The sad part about this show is that eventually public interest waned and even disappeared, but the contestants were left in the wilds to fend for themselves. No one was watching, and thanks to the Twitter account attached the show being closed down, no one knew just how much they were really suffering.
4. Queen for A Day (1945)
So debasing yourself for a chance at a better life is nothing new. This show asked women, working housewives, what they would wish for in order to make their lives and those of their families better. Women would break down sobbing and go so far as to beg just to procure amenities for their family that were desperately needed while being viewed by a studio audience. Mothers and wives are usually willing to do what it takes to keep their family safe and secure, but banking on human misery seems to be pushing it too far.
3. Intervention (2005)
If ever there was a reality show that should be shut down for gross negligence this is it. Not only is the audience invited to wallow in the misery of drug addicts and alcoholics, but the camera crew is on hand for every disgusting second. The addicts are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want without a filter just to show how dangerous their lives have become. It’s almost like a public suicide attempt that hundreds of thousands of people get to watch.
2. Punk’d (2003)
Sure the joke was always revealed when it was over, but the gut-wrenching feeling that came before this was anything but pleasant. Who really wants to see their property damaged or their life turned upside down just for someone to come out and yell “you got punk’d!” ? It’s a wonder that Kutcher didn’t suffer a Friday moment every episode, “You got knocked the f out!”
1. Life Below Zero (2015)
Now this is low. A woman in rural Alaska was told that she essentially sold her life to the network that had her performing dangerous stunts throughout the duration of the show. Risking life and limb for a small amount of fame seems more than a little ridiculous when in reality, the show just about killed the poor woman on several occasions.
It’s hard to admit sometimes, but if reality shows were allowed to play out as true reality most people might not watch. By altering reality and making it more entertaining, the downside becomes that the stars are usually the ones that suffer.