Greece tightly in the grips of reality fever

It appears that reality shows have besieged the lives of most Greeks, and not just because they are aired daily, at prime time, by two of the big television stations, but also because they are seeping into the content of talk shows, lifestyle shows and even the press – at least press of a yellow/pink hue. Reality show hosts and the «celebrities» that serve on their panels are coveted guests for talk shows, while some news programs even present lengthy reports on the goings-on at the Music Academy («Fame Story») or «The Farm.» The birthday celebration of Andreas Mikroutsikos, celebrity host of «Fame Story,» for example, was one of the main stories of Antenna television’s cultural news in its main bulletin (Antenna also airs the talent show). Entire television programs are dedicated either to discussing events on reality shows or airing extracts from the day before. Reality show players are frequently seen appearing on morning shows on many stations, as well as on two midday shows of social commentary, «Exclusively» on Alter channel and «Super Star» on Star. Makedonia TV airs over six hours of footage from «Fame Story» on a daily basis, while Nova pay-TV offers the same show live 23 hours a day. It is also very hard to ignore the «in-your-face» headlines displayed at kiosks and insinuating that reality shows are fields of fierce battles and hothouses of lovers’ squabbles and dangerous liaisons. While there may be different degrees of scandalmongering between magazines, newspapers and television shows, reality shows themselves and the media who follow them are interconnected vessels. Reality show producers are quick to criticize certain media for their scandalmongering, but in fact, one gains equally from the other and all that is different between the various approaches to «reality fever» is the wrapping; the manner in which the same product is marketed.