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Reality TV Show For Children—Pushing it too far?

June 14, 2014

Reality TV Show For Children—Pushing it too far?

Mr A:- I completely agree with the point of view that the reality shows that have children as participants are not doing them much of good. It is that age when the children should be playing and enjoying their time, rather than fretting about not having practised hard enough or dealing with pressure of expectation. It is a small part of life, a bright and innocent patch that each one remembers when it comes to recalling happy memories. What would it be like to have none such in the cache? It is quite unfortunate that a number of shows have been put together to boost the ratings of the channels. The prize money runs into big amounts and the drama runs to incredible limits as well. What the grown ups who advocate the presence of reality shows as a platform for talent do not understand is that big money spells big costs and it can take a real toll on the participants. I do not really understand what people would be deprived of if they did not get to see children perform on the television. They should instead be encouraged to blossom and dedicate time to whatever activity they would gladly want to pursue. Once they enter into the world of grown ups, the pressures and strains of life will as it is catch up with them, so how much sense does it make to tire them at the very beginning?

 Miss B:- I think that it is just a singular incident that is causing the whole issue to be blown out of proportion. These are better times than the days of yore where one had a very miniscule chance of being noticed unless one had exceptional talent and the understanding to make it big. Now, it all comes in a very simplified form and you simply have to make a choice. There are multiple shows that provide forum for individuals with talent in a wide variety of fields. What is wrong in identifying talent and promoting it? I think that the critics are unable to see the ease with which individuals can showcase their skills. How else do you find out latent ability and groom it? Definitely not after waiting till children are 25 or 30 years of age! It takes very little to let the diatribe loose on anything new, but what I would definitely like to point out is that talent needs identification and honing from the earlier stages. Many of the people today, who have outshone others in their field have been encouraged from their younger years. True, we did not have reality shows then, but still these uncut diamonds had to be found, cut and polished to dazzle the world.

 Mr C :- Imagine this—little girls having parlour appointments, little boys rehearsing tirelessly to songs they probably do not even understand, babies having portfolios shot…does it carry the whiff of normalcy about it? I think not. Reality shows centred on children are making a huge negative dent. Talent scouting is not just about a day’s competition when several children perform individually or in teams and the achievers are announced. This is very different. It is about long periods of rehearsals, multiple shootings, enacting scripted dramas, usually unhealthy interpersonal rivalry, harsh remarks from judges that evoke strong sentiments in audience and keeps them glued. Why would anyone want his or her child to go through this grind? I think children should compete, but a competition that has been twisted out of proportion to make for interesting and arresting viewing should be shunned altogether. I also subscribe to the view that talent needs to be nurtured, but not at the cost of losing childhood. 

 Miss D :-I think that such a view is extremely self-limiting and does not represent the complete truth. I believe that there is nothing so drastically wrong with the reality shows so as to shun them altogether. One can dig out many psychology theories and say this is right and that is wrong. But one should take a look at the complete picture before rubbishing any singular idea or aspect. Where does competitiveness for children not exist? It is everywhere. It is among friends, classmates, peers and even siblings. There is a lot of hue and cry about kids being pushed around for fame and money. What should be done about kids being pushed around to three to four tuitions a day or to multiple skill acquisition classes. What for?  Can one go and start condemning everything. A remark from a teacher or a parent can have an equally, if not more devastating effect on the child’s psyche. I think that it is unfair to pick at reality shows. After all no one is forced to participate. 

 Mr A :-I still think that the reality shows are not good for the children. They are only fuelling the hunger and the greed in parents. Children may not be able to make economic sense of the entire exercise; they are merely happy with the praise. It is often the case that parents want to live out their unfulfilled desires through their children, or rake in the fame and money as well. It is not important to know whether the child is aware of what this participation entails? Is he or she physically and mentally prepared to take it on?  The parents are desperate to give the world a prodigy, a star, the cutest baby, the smartest model, the whiz kid, the singer, musician and what not… And in this process are willing to subject the young mind to evaluation by someone who may or may not be able to do justice.

 Miss B:- Well, as they say you cannot have the cake and eat it too. There is a price for fame and for standing out among many. If there is a desire in an individual to outshine the others he or she will have to find a forum and display the talent. It is all a matter of choice. One can choose to stay away from the arc lights and lead a nice, normal and ordinary life. Or one can take a plunge and risk it to achieve fame or money or both. I feel that the children only become more competitive and come out of their shell by participating in such shows. ‘Survival of the fittest’ holds good for every aspect of life. Even if a small milestone is achieved by this route, the child will get a huge pointer to future. Otherwise too, the interactions and the experiences only add up in one way or the other. As far as the harsh criticism is concerned, it is for the choice makers—most likely the parents in this case, to arm the kids with a positive attitude and with the knowledge of what can be expected. Competitiveness is in fact the exact tool that educates one on how to leave behind mediocrity. I think that reality shows are alright in their place. 

 Mr C:- I am yet to get convinced about the relevance of these shows. There is much more to the show than just TRPs and desire for fame. Hunger for fame, money, recognition, applause, praise is all very human. It cannot be condoned and one adopting a high moral ground with reference to these has to be extremely saintly. There is nothing wrong with participating in talent hunts. What bothers me is the drama that comes as a package of these shows. There will be several episodes and several rounds of performances or display. It is understood that there can be only one winner at the end of it all. Apart from the winner, who basks in the glory, there are several others who are criticised, rebuked and ridiculed as well in front of others and a nationwide audience. And now that channels are available to audiences abroad, it becomes a case of worldwide humiliation. And for what—what are the parameters of judgement, what are the benchmarks or standards. Judgements are, however, notional and nonetheless are given. Children, when they participate can give all but simplicity of effort. And if ridicule or rebuke is what they get as a performance appraisal, it can be devastating for their self-confidence. I think that in case of children, letting a child participate in a reality TV show is a sure way to scar a child for life.

 Miss D :-I do believe that some things at the reality shows are a violation of the rights of children. It is only proper that the parents as the deciding authorities should make intelligent choices and refrain from sending their children to shows that require torturously long working hours, including recordings and other constant rehearsals for various promotional programmes for which private channels get a lot of mileage. The environment in which the children would be working for so long is equally important too. A proper guideline for operations and ethical behaviour of the shows needs to be charted out. High drama involving sentiments of children should be made liable for jurisdiction before a court of law. Public performances seem to cast an everlasting impression on the minds of the participating kids, and no matter whether they win or lose, it affects them significantly. Forums for showcasing talent are appreciable and required as well, but they should strive to maintain the dignity attached to art of any genre.

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