The Condemned is entirely focused around a show and how it is trying to attract the world's attention. The premise is that the world wants entertainment and the way they view entertainment is through violence. So, they have convicts on death row from around the world fight to the death on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Violence seems to be everywhere in our society today whether it be in video games or in our favorite movie and Tom Henthorne goes to say that "popular programs desensitize people to violence and conflict"(95). I mean I myself like some action in my television shows and movies but it can cause us to react as we should if a tragedy shown similar to in the programming becomes a reality.
Throughout the "game" the convicts are playing, more of the players die but more people are also watching. In order to watch, you have to pay with a credit card. The producer does not care that there are people fighting to the death, only that he is getting the money. The people watching though, have a different reaction. The Hunger Games depicts a similar ideal as they send children into these arenas to fight to the death. The Capitol and the other elites, do not seem to care that these young children are fighting to the death, because it is entertaining for them. Meanwhile in the districts, they are cheering for their tributes to come home but the families of the tributes are sitting wondering how and why this continues to go on; why they have to risk their children's lives for the sake of the Capitol's power.
Tom Henthorne goes on to say how reality television shows are similar to movies and books such as The Condemned and The Hunger Games. Programs such as Survivor are based on surviving in conditions just as they had to in the both the movie and books. Reality television today is not reality at all, as people may seem to be real but they are always playing a role. In The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta were constantly playing the role of the "star-crossed lovers" (even though it was more Katniss playing than Peeta) and people believed that their love was true. Which shows how the games are Panem's reality television. In The Condemned, there did not seem to be any manipulation at first but we later see that one of the contestants was being favored and given advantages throughout the games.
Based on all of these sources, we can tell that reality television is very not real and the media depicts so much and can even desensitize us to what is the reality. The media is also heavily controlled in most of the sources discussed and even in today's society it is regulated just not as heavily.
Tom Henthorne Approaching the Hunger Games Trilogy: A Literary and Cultural Analysis
Chapter 5 "Real or Not Real"