UK /ˌɑː.tɪˈfɪʃ.əl/ US /ˌɑːr.t̬əˈfɪʃ.əl/
This is how the Cambridge dictionary defines artificial. The second meaning applies very well to one of my pet hates, reality television.
TV is full of these programs and anything less real than these stupid shows is hard to imagine.
“The Real Housewives of (insert name of city)” – Can these women be real? I certainly hope not. Anything further away from a real housewife with a home, family and other responsibilities like work, volunteering or whatever is hard to imagine. I would hate to have any of these nasty women living in my neighbourhood.
“The Biggest Loser” and other get fit shows. Packing a bunch of obese people into a house together and having them spend all day, every day working out to lose weight is not real life. In real life you have to cook for and eat with your family, go to work or school , to social occasions and you don’t have Michelle Bridges or the Commander standing over you to make sure you do the right thing. Is it any wonder that so many of the contestants put weight on once they are off the show. There are so many other issues I could discuss about these bizarre programs but basically the whole situation they put them in is totally unrealistic and artificial.
Home improvement shows; come on, can a group of three or four experts really change your whole house and garden in a weekend? Aren’t there a whole army of tradies at work once the cameras stop rolling? How do they get all the council permits and so on so fast? Would you even want to live in a house that was renovated in two days? Are the
victims, I mean recipients really happy when they come home and find their walls painted strange colours and their beloved belongings consigned to the Op Shop?
Talent shows; these seem to be about expecting every contestant to be proficient at every genre of music or every dance step. How many of the great musicians and performers of the past would have passed that test? What is really artificial here though is not the performers who are mostly talented people but the means of deciding who wins which seems to be mainly about who looks good on TV to the viewers who are voting and commenting on social media. Of course in a celebrity dance off situation it may also be down to how well that celeb’s show is rating rather than their dance steps. Again fake, fake, fake.
Matchmaking shows; whether is is “Farmer Wants a Wife”, “The Bachelor/Bachelorette”, “Married at First Sight” or any number of even sleazier dating shows these are artificial situations where the drama, deadlines and ratings are more important than developing a real relationship.
I do hope that people take these things just as entertainment and not as what life is or should be like. For myself I don’t consider them even entertaining, they are more likely to make me want to yell at the hosts and throw things at the set although usually I just switch over or off.