TV Programming:Reality TV

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Reality television has been around for quite some time. These shows are very popular among society. You can stay caught up in the celebrity drama, and you can see other ordinary people making a fool of themselves. However, there are a few things that people don't think about, or don't know about reality TV. Three topics often discussed about this type of media are what they are, what influences they have, and the question of whether it really is reality or not.

Reality TV is a type of TV programming that involves regular everyday people. As in Steven Reiss's article, '... reality television--ordinary people compete in weeks-long contests while being filmed 24 hours a day (Reiss)." The shows follow the lives of celebrities and regular people. Sometimes, it appears as a game show where the contestants are on opposite teams against each other in a battle of wits or smarts. Other examples include makeovers, talents, or even which guy is the cutest for the girl. People from all over the world can join in these shows and they have a chance to prove themselves on national TV.

In most shows, they are completely open to the people, meaning, they are unscripted and unrehearsed. They don't make up scripts for anyone nor do they practice before every show, it's all completely improv. Yet this doesn't mean they're all totally real. In Winifred Fordham Metz article, 'All of the concepts were created by someone (usually the producer), the people who populate the show were auditioned or hired in some way, and, while the footage may be real, it is usually extremely edited (Metz)." This is why these shows are so popular, as they can see how these people would really act if they were put into these situations. The pressure of the show brings out their real emotions and they reveal intimate details about their lives.

The influences of these shows can be very beneficial to the population that watch them. First, it can help us prepare for the real world, a big example of this being marriage. One big stereotype of marriage is that it's always perfect. People don't fight, you always get along with your spouse, and life is just happy in general. As Sadie Gennis states:...Marriage doesn't necessarily mean 'happily ever after" in the traditional sense. The couples on the show fight, hide money from each other, and even go to therapy-but how much they love each other is never in question. None of the couples on the series have the idyllic newlywed year they imagined, but thanks to watching their ups and downs, I'm far more prepared for the reality of marriage. (Gennis) Marriage doesn't automatically make you happier as a person, it's just a very nice change and it's a chance for you to become more patient and loving. Reality television is not afraid of putting this out there, as they have lots of fighting couples.

People can also get negative influences from reality TV, especially the women. In Holly Peek's, 'The Impact of Reality TV on our Teens,"she says, 'Many reality shows depict women idealizing beauty and thinness, giving the impression that a woman's value is based on her appearance, and that popularity is derived from beauty (Peek)." All of the exercise shows, where the contestants are trying to get skinnier than they were before, effect many to believe that if they don't get down in weight, they are worth nothing. Therefore, many young girls feel that they aren't the 'perfect size" as they do on TV, and then that's when the problems start.

Perhaps the biggest concern of all is whether it's truly reality. Sometimes, it is real, as the people on the shows are being themselves, and demonstrating their talents. The makers of the shows try to make it 'true to life," like the situations they put people in. On the show Survival, real people get stranded on this island, and they only have their wits and their skills to help them survive. People can't really fake being under that much pressure, and they truly are not reading from a script. It's not rehearsed before either, as they are not on a specific schedule. On other shows, such as American Idol, it's all mostly true. As Opinion-Outpost Blog says, "American Idol" may have its unreal moments, but all those winning singers are legitimate. Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson - they were all found by "American Idol." Even the least successful winner - Lee DeWyze, according to The Boston Globe - released a major debut album after his victory (Opinion)." So, it may have it's unreal moments, but most of this show and others has legit stuff that happens.

There are also many points about it not being reality. The makers of the show are 'all powerful" and they can manipulate many different things in the show. Frankenbiting is a very common one they use: 'We often take different clips and edit them together to sound like one conversation, sometimes drastically changing the meaning. It's so common we have a name for it: frankenbiting. If you see someone talking and then the camera cuts still hear their voice, that's likely frankenbiting (Crouch)." Not everything that the people say is actually what they're saying. To make it more dramatic and exciting for the audience, they put in sentences that no one actually said. Especially when they put in an insult, or an exclamation, people seem to like that more.

In conclusion, reality television can be really good for society, but it can also be dangerous for others. The topics discussed were what they are, the influences they can have on people, and the question whether it really is reality or not. These are some things about reality TV that most people don't know, and they are very important topics as each generation is affected differently, by them. Since society likes them so much, they are probably not going to leave any time soon, but you should make the choice for yourself whether you will be influenced by them or not.

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TV Programming:Reality TV. (2021, Mar 10). Retrieved May 21, 2024 , from

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