The reality show genre has really blossomed. From trying to survive in a deserted island to finding love without seeing the other person, many entertaining concepts have developed. However, what if these reality shows had really high stakes, for example your life? What if a reality show deceived you and showed the entire world your private moments?
This week, we recommend to you, some of the best films that dealt with fictional reality shows at the centre of their plot. From sci-fi adventures to comedies, we have it all.
The Truman Show
How would you feel if one day you found out everything you ever knew to be real, from the sky to the sea and people around you, are actually staged and stimulated to make a show out of your life? While many in 2020 may want to wish that were true, it could be quite riveting for someone in that situation. Doubled up with the fact that there is no escape.
The Truman Show is the hilarious yet heartening journey of a man trying to escape his life while the world watches his every move. The film benefits from brilliant writing, as well as Jim Carrey's unflinching dedication to his craft. The 1998 film was directed by Peter Weir and also starred Laura Linney, Ed Harris and Natasha McElhone in supporting roles.
The Running Man
When the makers of this film predicted 2017, they did get the reality show part right, to be fair. In 2017, if someone were to participate in a show like The Running Man, they would do it through virtual reality. However, in the dystopian world that our story is set in, convicts are given two choices to either be in jail or play for their life in a deadly game show. "Jail time or Prime Time," as the psychopathic, ever-smiling host would say.
While the film is a little cheesy in comparison of today's standards and depends a little too much on Arnold Schwarzenegger's machismo, it is an extremely innovative and fun concept. Directed by Paul Michael Glaser, the 1987 film is based on Stephen King's story.
The Hunger Games
Imagine Survivor, but more literal and Orwelian. The Hunger Games movies and books gained a lot of popularity, and rightfully so. While many enjoyed the grit, what I personally like about the franchise is that it is unapologetically political.
Two teenagers each from 12 districts are selected for the viewing pleasure of the elite 1% (much like the world right now), where they have to kill the other contestants and be the last person alive. The films have a gripping storyline, fleshed out characters and stunning visuals, but at the heart of it all, there is a message about the power lying with the masses, no matter how much resistance they face. Based on the books by Suzzane Collins, the films star Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in lead roles.
A little different from the films in our list because no one is fighting for their lives per se, Showtime is a really hilarious take on reality TV and the extent to which people can go for entertainment. An enthusiastic TV producer finds the two perfect cops for her idea "Showtime" and they could not be polar opposites. One is angry, a little stuck up and definitely has bended a few rules to get his job done, the other is a funnyman, whose dreams of being an actor makes him quite a funny character.
What's good about Showtime is watching how these two characters come together in the face of real danger, even when the chaotic part of the film is really fun to watch. The 2002 film by Tom Dey stars Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy and Rene Russo in lead roles.
A cult classic that was revived on the big screen, Death Watch is a brilliant film, where a young woman's impending death captures the attention of people to an extent that it leads to a media circus. A man has let himself be a scientific experiment, where everything he ever sees is captured in the film, a woman has two months or less to live. In this dystopian world, death is rare and her terminal illness captures attention of a TV network who wants to turn her life into a reality show.
Obsession over death isn't a new concept and now more than ever, right to privacy seems like a lie. The film is the combination of powerful human emotions, sadness, greed, love and many more. Not to mention, Romy Schneider and Harvey Keitel are in their heartbreaking best. The film was directed by Bertrand Tavernier.