Just because you cringe doesn’t make it good or bad. It just means it’s hit a sensitive nerve and your brain is telling you to respond with disapproval. Well, I think so.
I challenge anyone who hasn’t flicked the channel to get relief from reality TV sob story worthy of a Today Tonight or ACA news story. In fact, I flick so much I should permanently set my remote to “channel surfing” mode – if there were such a mode. I channel surf for the mere fact that I am impatient, prone to eye rolling and of course, cursing at the screen for issues I have very little understanding and patience for; politics included. It would take a compelling and very special program indeed, to keep my interest for at least a half hour and 90 minutes at most.
Returning to my initial thought of ‘cringing’ – I avoid reality based programming for this sole reason. Very rarely do programs like ‘American Idol’ or ‘My Kitchen Rules’ or ‘Masterchef or more recently, ‘The Voice’ manage to sustain my interest given their now, vehemently stylised packages, quick editing, fly-on-the-wall perspectives and the already mentioned, sob stories which apparently come ‘naturally’ to contestants of these reality based programs. It’s fair to say then that the stylised drama is what in fact, makes me cringe. The drama which goes along every single episode, every action and every judges’ remarks are to me and I’m sure to others, what fascinates avid viewers the most.
Another pet hate for cringe-worthiness is the shameless (er, paid) advertising featured heavily in these shows. Perhaps, my cringing at this rises from my deep suspicion that media producers treat audiences like dummies with some having little to no clue that what they’re watching is actually one HUGE advertorial packaged as ‘reality’. Conspiracy theories aside – yes, I do know what the bottom line of the media is but live in hope that one day ‘reality’ programming becomes more informative and topical rather than what it is currently: cringe-worthy.