The truth behind reality shows has always been somewhat debatable. Over the years, we’ve always heard about producers instructing the cast to do certain things and react in certain ways. Caught in the Act: Unfaithful appears to be unscripted, but the entire premise feels a little too good to be true.
The MTV show’s description reads: “With the help of Tami Roman and a team of relationship experts, spurned lovers take their cheating partners to task and get justice for their broken hearts.”
Basically, the show catches cheaters literally “In the act,” forcing them to confront their wrongs. While cheating is a reality in the world, the show may just be phony. Let’s investigate.
Is ‘Caught in the Act: Unfaithful’ Real?
MTV obviously advertises the show as real. The cheaters and cheatees alike are very much real people. The question is: how real are these staged little interventions? No one really knows.
What makes everything so suspicious is that when the cheater is caught, they somehow already have a microphone on them. If they were actually cheating, why would they be okay getting mic-ed up for the occasion?
It’s definitely possible that they use some sort of lie to convince them to wear the microphone. Anyone who is any decent at cheating, though, wouldn’t agree to be recorded while actively cheating in case that footage got back to their partner.
The most likely answer is that it’s a mix of scripted and unscripted, but so is most reality TV anyway.
In fact, fans aren’t even pretending that they’re convinced by the script. In reviews on IMDb, they often point out the elements that are scripted, dissing the show.
One fan wrote: “It didn't take long to see that the show was scripted. The storylines are so poorly written that the actors struggled to make them believable. They failed miserably! You start out laughing at the bad acting, and then say ‘Enough is enough’.”
Another fan agrees with the theory that it's 50/50 between real and fake. They even think that some of the acting and tears look pretty real.
“It is most definitely not completely authentic. The way the alleged hidden cameras move around like a human is manually operating it, the convenient way they are able to get businesses to agree to set up surveillance,” they wrote in the review. “The unrealistic reaction of the alleged victims, the coincidences of evidence they ALWAYS find when they are spying and recording (where the accused always says something sexual as proof of their guilt)...I keep watching it but I know it's fake.”
Regardless of if the show is real or not, it’s still doing well in the ratings. The IMDb reviews were brutal, but the network saw enough potential return on investment in the show to grant it another season.
According to Shadow and Act, the show “earned its second-highest rating” on July 18, 2023. “It outperformed the season premiere by 36 percent on rating and 42 percent on share.”
Watch Caught in the Act: Unfaithful Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on MTV.