Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Death and Reality TV

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you your link in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.

Today's Question: How would you impress (or not impress) the Hunger Games judges?

Confession: I haven't read The Hunger Games.

This being said, I do know something about killing people off on reality TV. No, really.

Image courtesy of Pyritz Design.
Back when I thought I had a passion for working in theatre*, I worked on a show called REAL DEAD. It was a premiere by a guy named Marty Barrett. The premise was simple: a group of strangers live in a house - very similar to The Real World or Big Brother. The twist was while these people thought they would just be living life like all reality TV stars, they would actually get offed one by one until Mary was the only person left.

The fictional TV audience loved the show and the producers clamored for a second season where they'd follow Mary around until she died. (The play really focused on the inaugural season but had a flash forward beginning.)

So in the first season, which the play was actually about, we learned about the characters and their quirks. In true reality TV fashion, they acted out, hooked up, add-general-reality-TV-cliche-here - the works. Then they had to start killing each other off for survival.

So death and reality TV have been hand in hand for a while starting with Battle Royale** in 1999. This keeps coming up in some form because from a psychological perspective, it's interesting to see what a person's breaking point is. If you and your friend were trapped in a room for a month and the only way out was to kill the other, what would you be a matyr and let your friend live? Interesting question, isn't it?

Of course, leave it to the French to take the dead and reality TV connection to the limit. Reading this article in The Washington Post wants me to polish off my 11th grade French and watch the documentary.

Why do you think there's a connection between reality TV and death? Comment below. And if you've read The Hunger Games trilogy and want to see how other would impress the judges, head over to YA Highway.

*Circa 2001 - 2004ish. Turns out I was just waiting for Hubby.
** For more information about Battle Royale, you can wiki or you can go to Erinn's blog.
_________ hit of the day: A Grave Upon Mankind by Cultus Sanguine


  1. Verrrry interesting. And in response to your question... depends on which friend.

    just kidding!
    mostly, anyway.

  2. I loved Real Dead. I think it was my favorite show that the Co-op did.

    And, yeah, it depends on the friend.

  3. Interesting! I've previously heard about that experiment done at Yale (the one mentioned in the article), but I'm still surprised by how willing people are to "kill". It's scary.

  4. Really interesting. I think the obsession with reality tv has to do with a desire to watch people acting up/out. if they put reasonable people on these shows I guess they wouldn't be very interesting. There's always the Puck or the Snookie to get all crazy up in there.
    I think the interest in the combo of reality+death is because (not to get all philosophical) we all end in death. So we're fascinated by it, and scared of it, and obsessed with it.
    great post!
    Maybe your skill would be to reason with the other contestants!! Get them to think about philosophical questions!

  5. Thanks for stopping by ladies! I think KO hit it right on the point with saying "we all end in death."

    Real Dead was also my favorite show at the Co-op. It was one of the only ones where I watched every night of tech. (Don't tell Hubby.)


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